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Local Wineries Debate Selling In Grocery Stores

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Local Wineries Debate Selling In Grocery Stores

By Todd Walker. CREATED Jul 22, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn - Tennesseans have heard about it for months and likely have been asked to sign the petition: should wine be sold in grocery stores?

While the final decision waits for the November ballot, local wineries are also asking should their wine be among that sold in grocery stores?

At least one winery in Davidson County has said it's not likely.

Long Hollow Winery owner Joel Phillips said he wants to remain competitive they also don't want to cheapen the product, or lose the expertise and experience from going straight to the winery.

Then there's the money factor.

Phillips said he’d likely have to pay a distributor to go up against national brands that can sell for as low as just a couple of dollars a bottle.

Instead, Phillips said they're focusing and reinvesting in themselves.

“I think what we're going to do is focus on our dream and the experience that people get coming here,” he said. “And make sure that we're making a better bottle of wine than what's on the shelf.”

Long Hollow Winery is in the process of building an outdoor pavilion, concert area and event space to make the winery a destination.

The Metro Election Commission started verifying petition signatures Monday.

It's unknown how long that will take.

The group behind the campaign for wine in grocery stores only needs around 15,000 verified signatures.

How many of that 20,000 will be thrown out as invalid is not yet clear.

Todd Walker

Todd Walker

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Todd Walker joined the NewsChannel 5 team in August 2013. He comes to Nashville from KUSA in Denver, CO. During his time there he covered the aftermath of the Aurora theater shooting and from the front lines of devastating wildfires.