Outside Legal Counsel PLC

e-Wines On Sale

For Immediate Release | May 17, 2005

Wine lovers and Internet users across the state of Michigan are drinking a little easier today. In a case regarding Internet sales, the US Supreme Court ruled that states cannot prohibit their citizens from buying wine from out-of-state vintners.

The High Court’s ruling grew out of legal challenges to Michigan law banning the ability to purchase wines across state lines via the Internet. Twenty-four states, including Michigan, had a legal ban on buying out-of-state wines through mail orders and Internet sales.

The original case, Granholm v. Heald, provides an interesting case that shows how new e-commence practices are affecting the traditional face-to-face sales format. “With so many people buying and selling items across the Internet, it was only a matter of time before these types of items, which were traditionally state-controlled items, would be sold online,” states Philip L. Ellison, a web designer and technology expert at Hemlock-based Quagmire Solutions. “The Internet is simply changing the way businesses are transacting with its customers.”

While the effects of ruling to the state are unknown, wine drinkers contend that consumers will benefit from greater choice and convenience from being able to order directly online.

Michigan is a world-renowned wine state with forty professional vineyards, mostly within 25 miles of Lake Michigan. Yearly revenues averaging around $75 million dollars makes Michigan the fourth largest grape-growing state.


The above article was issued by an OLC attorney when he previously worked in corporate operations and communications. Because these articles are highly informative, they are provided as a service of this law firm.