If it’s a new development that you can now have wine shipped into your state, you can thank Ray and Eleanor Heald. The following link is a wine writer interview that I conducted with the Healds this past December, if you’re not already familiar with this dynamic couple and you’d like more perspective on them.

Ray & Eleanor Heald ~ Paradigm Shifters ~ Wine Writers

Eleanor and Ray Heald, the journalists, wine advocates, and Michigan plaintiffs in the U.S. Supreme Court case, Granholm v. Heald, are about to receive the first annual “Grape Liberator” award at the Direct to Consumer Symposium, May 1, at the Meritage Resort in Napa, according to Dennis Cakebread, contact and symposium chairman for the Coalition for Free Trade. For more details, Dennis can be reached at (707) 963-5221.

Presented by Coalition for Free Trade and Free the Grapes!, the Grape Liberator Award was established to recognize individuals who have played an instrumental role in improving consumer choice, as well as free trade, in wine.

It is very fitting that the first award be given to the Healds, given that they were not going to sit by and be dictated to by an antiquated – if not downright inane – system. They took inordinate steps in order to begin to turn that battleship around… And some battle it’s been, going head-to-head with the three-tier system governed by wine, beer, and spirits wholesalers.

“Wineries and wine lovers all owe a debt of gratitude to Eleanor and Ray Heald,” said W. Reed Foster, president of Coalition for Free Trade, who will present the award Thursday. “They simply insisted that they be able to purchase and receive wines from out of state wineries, for both personal and professional reasons. Their first steps helped to lead to victory in the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Eleanor & Ray Heald:
Regional Correspondents APPELLATION AMERICA.COM

In accepting the Grape Liberator award, the Healds said, “We wouldn’t have had the eventual success in Granholm v. Heald without the expert legal work of our principal attorneys, co-counsels Robert D. Epstein of Epstein, Cohen, Donahoe and Mendes in Indianapolis, Indiana, and James A. (Alex) Tanford, Professor of Law at Indiana University. Additionally, Attorney Kathleen Sullivan, Stanford Law School, argued brilliantly as our advocate before the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Walk-in registrations are encouraged. Session information and details are available at www.coalitionforfreetrade.org/symposium. Guests may attend May 1, 2, and/or the Gala Dinner: Pricing: entire package ($500), Day One ($225), Day Two ($200), or the Gala Dinner ($150).

Visit their Website for more details: Free the Grapes Symposium