It’s the week before wine crush and Tablas Creek Vineyard General Manager Jason Haas is worried. Not about the grape harvest, or this year’s vintage, but about a looming piece of congressional legislation.
HR 5034, the Comprehensive Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness Act of 2010, or CARE, is a bill that would cede control of wine shipping back to states and limit direct shipping to out-of-state consumers. For boutique wineries like Tablas Creek, it could mean an end to out-of-state shipping to consumers and up to a one-fifth drop in sales.
“This is basically special-interest legislation and it could put our smaller wineries out of business,” Haas said, looking out over his family’s rolling Paso Robles vineyards.