Wineries all promote their products at events. There are so many of them including your local “neighborhood” food and wine festival (San Diego Food and Wine Festival, Big Sur Food and Wine Festival, Central Coast Food and Wine Festival being just a few of the ones in California, you can find one or several every weekend somewhere in America), industry events (Family Winemakers of California tastings, Rhone Rangers tasting, ZAP tasting); at art openings, concourse d’elegance (Pebble Beach’s being one of the greatest), civic functions, the list is too long to specifically itemize here.
Often these tastings are conducted at locations or events which do not have retail off site liquor wine or beer licenses (even though charitable event one day licenses are relatively easy to obtain) and so the winery conducting tastings cannot sell wine and pass the bottles “over the table” to you. They can however take orders for wine and after having their offices process your credit card ship the wine to you. One question from customers always involves the question of whether shipping is “free”.
You probably are not aware that California as do many other states have a prohibitions against encouraging or facilitating the sale of alcohol by giving away any free premium, gift or other products in connection with the sale or distribution of any alcoholic beverage (California Business and Professions Code 25600). If our winery gives you a logo baseball cap or a logo cork pull as part of your purchase we have violated the law. The Napa Valley Vintners’ general counsel (400 wineries in the Napa Valley) has advised its members that “free shipping” is in his and their opinion a violation of this law.
The winery can however “bundle products” (three bottles of wine and a baseball cap for $1 more than the regular price of three bottles, six bottles of wine at 10% discount and shipping for a flat fee, or wine at retail with shipping “included”). It sounds crazy because what would be the difference between “giving away” shipping or “including it in a bundled price” but that is the current state of the law.
Since violating the “free” provisions of the Business and Professions Code could cost us our liquor license, Veedercrest will not offer any product, gift or premium for free as part of any sale or promotion of wine. This includes not giving free shipping.,