May 18, 2005
Leary - The high court ruled wineries can ship their products across state lines, but internet sales aren't legal everywhere.
Stillpond winery and vineyard in Leary has been open for just more than a year, and business is booming. Owner Charles Cowart says, "It seems wine consumption is definitely going up."
Stillpond was the only winery in Georgia South of Atlanta when they opened, now there are three others and more on the way. Wines produced here, can't be found elsewhere. Cowart says, "All of our wines are muscadine wines and muscadines only grow in the Southeast and we have a lot of visitors here from other areas that fall in love with the muscadine, but are unable to get this when they get back home."
But they can ship the wine to them. "We're allowed to ship," says Cowart, "If someone purchases, in person, we can ship to their residence." But if they want to order more wine, they have to come back and order in person, and that's a problem. He says, "I think the need for change has not been there, but the need for change is fast approaching."
And Cowart hopes the laws restricting him from selling over the internet and shipping to clients multiple times will quickly change. "We're here to make a profit, and the more we can sell, the more we can produce," says Cowart. And the more people will buy Georgia grown, Georgia produced wine.
One of the biggest concerns about allowing internet sales of wine is underage drinking. Some postal services require adult signatures when they deliver wine.