Path Home Shows 2014 Show Archive June 2014 Show 1426 Gene Clifton - Shipping Woes

Gene Clifton - Shipping Woes

The president of the Oklahoma Grape and Wine Commission talks about shipping issues surrounding the state’s rapidly growing wine industry.
Gene Clifton - Shipping Woes

Gene Clifton - Shipping Woes

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Oklahoma Grape Industry Council

Oklahoma ABLE Commission

Show Details

Show 1426: Gene Clifton - Shipping Woes
Air Date: June 29, 2014

 

Transcript

Andy Barth: Well, Oklahoma has come a long way since the days of prohibition. Even so, the state swings pretty far right on the conservative scale when it comes to alcohol. Earlier, I met up with Gene Clifton, the president of the Oklahoma Grape and Wine Commission to talk about the shipping issues surrounding the state’s rapidly growing wine industry.

Andy: Well, thank you so much, Gene, for inviting us out to the winery. We really appreciate it.

Gene Clifton: You’re welcome.

Andy: Now, there is a lot of concern and resistance to Oklahoma winemakers shipping their wine. Is that because distributors are concerned that large companies like Gallo will come in and take over the market?

Clifton: Yes, that could very well be. But right now the loss is that there’s no shipping in Oklahoma from other states. We can’t ship in-state; we can ship out-of-state. There’s 32 states that we can ship to, and we do on a regular basis.

Andy: Now, Oklahoma has done a great job of growing the wine industry. What needs to happen to make this even more successful?

Clifton: Well, we need to, we need to get together with the distributors to make it and the liquor stores to make it profitable for all of us to make money. And I think personally that Oklahoma needs to have grocery store sales with only Oklahoma wines. That is my solution to the problem. Uh, because Arkansas has that law, and it’s been contested and through the constitutional because each state makes its own liquor laws. That would solve the problem with the distributors because they would still distribute it to liquor stores. We could sell to liquor stores. We could sell to distributors. And the liquor stores who sell liquor and wine would still be able to stay in business. And I think that the, the liquor stores could stand some changes in their venue where they could sell other things besides wine, liquor and warm beer. And I think that’s one of the answers that, that uh, we could put together with the legislature that might work for everybody.

Andy: And when it comes to changing the law it really comes down to a vote of the people.

Clifton: Exactly. But I guarantee if this vote went to the vote of the people -- we have had several in the last -- you know, we’ve been here 15 years, and we’ve had several bills passed by the people with the minimum of a 68 percent voters. So if it goes to the vote of the people, they’ll vote for it.

Andy: All right, Gene. Well, thank you so much.

Clifton: You bet.

Andy: Now, we have more stories about Oklahoma’s booming wine industry on our website. Just head to okHorizon.com and look under our value added section.