New pricing rules could mean more Pa wines in state stores

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You may soon be able to enjoy your favorite Pennsylvania wines without having to travel to a winery or pay expensive shipping. The reason: the State Liquor Control Board has changed some of their pricing rules for Pennsylvania wine makers.

“Previously, Pennsylvania wineries had to sell their wine to the PLCB for a significant discount to account for the agency’s markup and liquor tax,” said Joseph E. Brion, PLCB chairman. “We believe that requirement impacted what wine our in-state wineries sold to us. It is our hope the change will encourage wineries to expand their selection in our stores to benefit consumers and the industry as a whole.”

Coco Nostra
“It has four chocolate extracts,” said Salvatore Cullari as he swirled around a glass of his red Coco Nostra wine. Coco Nostra is his best-selling wine, a chocolate favorite for a chocolate town. It’s a customer favorite that doesn’t stay on the shelves long at Cullari Vineyards in Hershey.

Soon, you could be seeing it on store shelves at your local Wine and Spirits stores, because of the new pricing changes. “The markup was so high in the past that very few wineries wanted to do it. The state didn’t allow wine makers to sell below state prices. Now, we can still sell our wine at a discount. But I think it’s more the exposure, and getting our wines out there and getting people to try them,” said Cullari.

Other changes
Linda Jones McKee, President of Tamanend Winery in Lancaster County said they already sell their wines on state shelves. The new changes will help the winery sell to restaurants now. “When we sell to restaurants we discount it about 30%. In our case we can’t do that with the state store regulations as they have been in the past. We were limited, we could not discount it anymore than what the state discounts it, which is 10%.”

“The regulatory change was a small but important step for Pennsylvania wineries,” said Tim Holden, PLCB board member. “We will continue to look for ways to promote our in-state wineries, understanding that the wine industry is a very important business with significant economic impact on the state and local economies.”

The regulatory change took effect Saturday, March 1.

The PLCB regulates the distribution of beverage alcohol and also operates more than 600 Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores statewide. Taxes and store profits are returned to Pennsylvania’s General Fund.  For more information about the Liquor Control Board, click here