L’CHAIM, TO LIFE: Friday, Saturday and Sunday June 23, 24 and 25, 2006 A weekend celebrating the ancient roots and rich traditions of Judaism and wine with 30+ Napa Valley Jewish vintners and winemakers pouring for guests. The event benefits five Napa Valley Jewish organizations that serve the needs of the community and address culture, religion, history, community, hunger, and education for Jews and non-Jews alike. The weekend consists of events from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon at Diamond Creek Vineyards, Rudd Vineyards and Winery, Silver Oak Cellars, Hagafen Cellars and a private estate. Tickets for the weekend are $500 pp; For Saturday Tasting, Dinner and Auction only are $350 pp. Tickets are limited. For detailed information, see www.napavalleycjc.org or contact Ona Marks at 707/256-8888.
Specialty Wine Retailers Association Applauds Agreement to Allow Out-of-State Retailers to Ship Wine Directly to Texas Consumers
SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 23, 2006--United States District Judge John H. McBryde of the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division, approved a preliminary injunction yesterday creating a level-playing field for in-state and out-of-state wine retailers. The Texas Attorney General's office and Kirkland & Ellis LLP, on behalf of wine retailer and Texas consumer plaintiffs, agreed to a preliminary injunction that prohibits Texas from enforcing its discriminatory ban on shipments from out-of-state wine retailers directly to Texas adult consumers. On April 3, the Specialty Wine Retailers Association (SWRA) announced its support for the lawsuit, filed by Kirkland & Ellis LLP, in conjunction with Texas counsel, challenging the constitutionality of Texas' laws prohibiting such shipments. (www.specialtywineretailers.org) Under this preliminary injunction, out-of-state wine retailers selling directly to Texas adult consumers must use a state-approved common carrier permitted to do business in Texas. The next step is for the common carriers, such as FedEx and UPS, to receive such permits and incorporate retailer-to-consumer shipping procedures into their systems. "The ruling is a milestone in our mission to remove archaic laws and create a borderless national marketplace that is consistent with Granholm v. Heald," said Lesley P. Berglund, president of SWRA. "It's a great day for Texas wine lovers, who can anticipate competitive pricing, more convenience, and greater choice," she added. The Specialty Wine Retailers Association has been formed to encourage states to create a borderless national wine marketplace that benefits consumers and increases state tax revenues. While 33 states allow licensed wineries to ship directly to their consumers, only 12 states, at most, allow retailers to do the same. The named defendant was Alan Steen, administrator of The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, and plaintiffs included Wine Country Gift Baskets.com, K&L Wine Merchants, Beverages & More, Inc., David L. Tapp, Ronald L. Parrish, and Jeffry R. Davis. SWRA members include, but are not limited to, wine merchants, wine auction houses, wine e-tailers, catalogers, and wine clubs. Members operate in 30 states, including 1-800-flowers.com (Ambrosiawine.com), Beverages & More, Bonhams & Butterfields, K & L Wine Merchants, My Wines Direct, Rare Wine Company, Signature Wines, Vinfolio, Winebid.com, and Wine Country Gift Baskets, among others. The organization is in active membership discussions with hundreds of other wine retailers -- and even wineries -- across the country that are supportive of a national wine market. Headquartered in Sacramento, California, SWRA is organizing as a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit trade association. The Association serves its members in various legislative and regulatory arenas and by litigating to improve the system for all constituencies. (www.specialtywineretailers.org)
Wine geeks and those who love ‘em will find plenty to geek out about May 26-28 at WineCamp, an “unconference” gathering of wine lovers, non profits and developers held in Calaveras County, California. Find out more about WineCamp and Register to attend.
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