An international wine showdown is set to take place right here in Sangamon County.
SPRINGFIELD - An Italian winery is suing the state, claiming Illinois liquor law
favors its homegrown counterparts.
Villa Monteleone Winery wants a Sangamon County judge to overturn state law thatI don’t know much about wine or economics but isn’t Italian wine going to be at "an economic disadvantage" relative to Illinois wines for several reasons? I’m guessing (and I could be wrong!) that there is a slight qualitative advantage the Italian wines have and doesn’t importing bottles of the beverage all the way from Europe mean higher transportation costs than the stuff grown and bottled here.
allows Illinois winemakers to sell directly to consumers, while out-of-state vineyards must go through distributors.
"This self-distribution privilege constitutes pure economic protectionism; there is no rational basis for the different treatment of Illinois and non-Illinois wineries," argued the Verona-based company in the lawsuit filed last week.
The winery claims the state law puts it an economic disadvantage.
I guess you have to give credit to the growing Illinois wine industry if they’ve gotten this much attention from the Italians.
A couple more interesting statistics from the SI article:
Illinois is home to 67 wineries and an estimated 300 grape growers.
Illinois-produced wine only makes up 500,000 gallons of the 25 million gallons consumed annually in the state, argues Barrett Rochman of Blue Sky Vineyards in Southern Illinois.