The Wine Industry Loses a Champion in Washington

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 The wine industry has lost an important voice in Washington.
After 16 years in the nation’s capital, Bill Nelson is leaving
WineAmerica, the only trade group that represents the entire U.S. wine
industry. Nelson, who has been the group’s president since 2005, has
fought the good fight for direct shipping, federal support for
viticulture research, and other important issues that have helped the
industry grow so dramatically over the past two decades.

Now,
Nelson is a victim of the economic recession, as membership in
WineAmerica has slipped and wineries feeling the pinch have cut back on
paying their membership dues. With HR 5034 now before Congress and the
well-financed wholesalers always looking for opportunities to turn back
gains on direct shipping, this is an unfortunate time for the industry
to downsize its champion.

Nelson looks back on his tenure in Washington in my column in today’s Washington Post 

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This entry was posted in Current Affairs, Direct Shipping, Local Wine, Oregon, Washington Post, Wine and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Wine Industry Loses a Champion in Washington

  1. Bill McIver says:

    Too bad Bill didn’t have fire in his belly for direct shipping back in
    the 1990s when John Hinman and I started the direct shipping fight. Bill
    and American Vintners Association AKA Wine America played footsie with
    WSWA and got snookered into believing wine could negotiate with them
    when WSWA had all the political power — the only way to win, as we
    proved, was to take the issue to the courts. AVA never really got on
    board because they tried to play belt-way politics instead of getting
    nasty and really fighting back.
    I’m not on Twitter — if you care to respond, it’s macwine@mcn.org
    “Per-capita consumption of wine by Americans will continue to rise, but
    if these small wineries are to continue to thrive, direct shipping is
    crucial.”

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