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Local winery owners are pushing for a new bill

Small, locally owned wineries are lobbying lawmakers to pass a bill that could cut out the middleman when it comes to selling their product.

Posted: Feb 25, 2019 7:26 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) — Small, locally owned wineries are all over the state of Indiana.

Now those owners are asking lawmakers for a change.

Just like Daniel Pigg the owner of Sycamore winery.

“Small wineries like ours we could obtain the micro-wholesaler permit and then reach a much greater market than what we can now,” Pigg said. “By distribution to liquor stores restaurants and other retail locations.”

Right now in Indiana rules say alcohol producers cannot sell their products directly to retailers and restaurants, specifically wine.

Instead, they must go through a wholesaler, but for Sycamore winery it’s not that easy.

“Currently, there’s actually a very large market that we miss because we do not distribute,” Pigg said. “We are in the majority of the wineries in Indiana and we’re a small winery there are a very small number of distributors. So, we don’t really carry a lot of weight with them.”

He said they don’t really fit the needs of large distributors, but in the past few years, wholesalers in Indiana have drastically dropped to only a few dozen.

Piggs said the current law and set up in Indiana has a negative impact on all small wineries in the state.

He says the law could be a step in the right direction to helping local businesses.

“We’d love to be on the shelves in many more areas in Indiana and also in the Midwest and beyond,” he said. “I’m sure in the future we will be. This law would be the first step in helping small businesses like ours to grow. “

He said the law would bring in 10 to 20% more profit to local wineries like his.

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