My employer, Silicon Valley Bank, is not only focused on helping technology and life science entrepreneurs and investors succeed, but also has an active premium wine practice. Lately, we’ve become more involved in political happenings that affect our industries, and below is a message than many of us at the Bank are sending out to our friends who enjoy the fine wines we work with. Please pass this on if you’re a lover of wine or free trade.
Dear Friend of SVB and Wine:
It’s widely known that we work with growing technology, life science and venture capital firms worldwide. What you may not know is that we have also banked the premium wine industry for more than 18 years. Today, we work with several hundred small, unique wineries and vineyards primarily on the West Coast. These wineries along with all other small wine producers are able to provide wine directly to their customers in many states after respecting all laws and paying all taxes. Consumers across the country have direct access to some of the best wine produced in the U.S. because they can order directly from small, boutique wineries. With a new bill being proposed in Washington, this could change.
The bill, called HR1161, is presently before Congress and, if passed, will lay the groundwork for states to take away your right to receive wine shipments directly from wineries. All wine produced outside of your resident state could be forced through wholesalers, which would likely result in higher prices and fewer selections, particularly from the small boutique wineries we work with and some of which you may have tried at an SVB event.
If you care about free trade, a consumers’ right to choose, and your right to order wine directly from wineries, we encourage you to raise awareness in your community and to write to your Congressional representatives.
What You Can Do:
1. Write to your Congressmen. It is important that Members of Congress from all across the country hear from consumers as to why HR 1161 is bad for them. Click here to find your Congressional Representative based on your zip code.
2. Visit Free the Grapes to learn more about HR 1161 and send an automated letter right now. Free the Grapes is a consumer group, which was originally started by the Napa Valley Vintners to advocate on behalf of consumers and to reduce shipping regulation for wine.
3. Forward this e-mail to people you know who love wine and ask them to write to their Congressmen.
4. Post you comments on Facebook. You may add your comments to the hundreds already posted on the STOP HR 1161 Facebook site. http://www.facebook.com/stophr1161?sk=wall
I hope you can take a few moments to support small wineries, consumer choice and free trade.