Case | HBS Case Collection | May 2007

Free the Grapes--Direct-to-Consumer Shipping in the Wine Industry

by Felix Oberholzer-Gee, Dennis A. Yao, Patricia Wu and Libby Cantrill

Abstract

While wine tourism in the United States was booming, the majority of consumers who tasted a Cabernet Sauvignon in one of Napa Valley's tasting rooms were not permitted to ship the wine directly to their home. In 2002, direct-to-consumer shipping was either banned or overly cumbersome in 37 states. W. Reed Foster, president of the Coalition for Free Trade, was determined to remove these obstacles. Would he be able to free the grapes?

Keywords: Business Conglomerates; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Lawsuits and Litigation; Agreements and Arrangements; Business and Government Relations; Corporate Strategy; Food and Beverage Industry; United States;

Citation:

Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, Dennis A. Yao, Patricia Wu, and Libby Cantrill. "Free the Grapes--Direct-to-Consumer Shipping in the Wine Industry." Harvard Business School Case 707-472, May 2007.