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State Relations

As part of our mission to initiate and advocate for public policy, Wine Institute is the only wine trade organization that works actively in all 50 states at the legislative and regulatory levels. Our State Relations Department handles this work in the states outside of California, led by a team of six regional Counsels/Directors, whose work is overseen and supported out of the San Francisco office.

Wine Institute State Relations Team at June 2019 Board Meeting
State Relations Team: (l-r) Steve Gross, VP State Relations; Carol Martel, Northeastern Counsel; Hunter Limbaugh, Southeastern Counsel; Terri Cofer Beirne, Eastern Counsel; Katie Jacoy, Western Counsel; Tyler Rudd, Central Counsel; Sally Jefferson, Great Lakes States Director; Annie Bones, State Compliance Specialist.


In 2019, the team supervised 47 contract lobbyists working on both legislative and regulatory issues in the states outside of California, assisting members on all aspects of the route to market for their products, including:

Tax & Fee Legislation

Includes excise taxes, local option taxes, sales taxes on alcohol, drinks taxes, licensing fees, etc.

Monopoly Protection Laws & Other Wholesaler Issues

Includes monopoly protection (aka franchise) laws, “at rest” provisions, “primary source,” etc.

Direct-to-Consumer Shipping

Includes opening the remaining states to DTC Shipping (AL, DE, KY, MS, UT), protecting, improving and simplifying existing state shipping laws, and protecting common carrier shipper privileges where challenged.

Trade Practice Legislation & Rules Reviews

Includes retailer sales below acquisition cost, advertising bans, labeling, tied-house, container sizes, etc.

Market Access Issues

Includes licensing, wine in food stores, tasting & sampling rules, local control, Sunday sales, etc.

Bottle Deposit Laws & Other Environmental Legislation

Includes bottle deposit laws, advanced disposal fees, solid-waste packaging rules, GMO labeling, etc.

.05 BAC & Other DUI Legislation

Includes .05 BAC legislation, DUI bills, interlocks, 24/7 sobriety programs, etc.

State Legislation Tracker

Wine Institute members have access to State Net’s bill tracking service showing all legislation currently being tracked by the State Relations team.


State Relations

Wine Institute members may contact the State Relations team for assistance on ABC and other issues in states outside of California