Save the Wine Walks

What's going on?
In short, The state Department of Revenue's April 2015 edition of "Wisconsin Alcohol Beverage and Tobacco Laws for Retailers" seems to say that wine walks are not permissible under state law. We would like that changed.
You can read more in the Capital News.
A Wine Walk in Wisconsin:

• Generates thousands of dollars for your downtown business district and community non-profit organizations

• Brings together local volunteers who contribute time and effort to create successful events for your community

• Creates increased awareness of your local, independently owned businesses

• Creates a positive economic impact for your community

We need your help to
Save the Wine Walks in Wisconsin

What can I do?
Go to our Save the Wine Walks Facebook page and click on the sign-up link.

• Sign the petition • Write your local political reps.

Save the Wine Walks on Facebook   Save the Wine Walks on Twitter   #savethewinewalks

A letter from the office of Senator Howard Marklein

July 3, 2015

Wine Walk Supporter:

Thank you for your ongoing support for wine walks in your community. We appreciate all of the input, encouragement and support for making changes to Wisconsin law to allow these effective events.

Over the last month, the offices of Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) and Representative Keith Ripp (R-Lodi) have led efforts to modify existing state law to create a licensing framework for organizations that seek to host wine walk events in their communities. The framework is based on the ways organizations were already seeking licensing from their municipalities. Unfortunately, under current law, the framework they were using is not legal because an organization is currently limited to two (2) temporary class B picnic licenses to serve wine every 12 months.

Our proposed framework will create a structure that will allow an individual organization (such as a Downtown District or Chamber of Commerce) to apply for multiple licenses for one date and one time period, twice per year. The existing provisions for a Class B Picnic License will still be enforced as they are now. We are simply making it possible for a municipality to legally approve licenses for a wine walk scenario and providing guidance for legally conducting these events.

Unfortunately, after a series of conversations and negotiations with the Tavern League of Wisconsin, our proposed changes are on hold. We hoped to include these changes in the State Budget bill this summer, but we will instead begin pursuing them as separate legislation. It is our hope to pass a bill to make wine walks legal in Wisconsin by early autumn to insure that communities who plan these events may be able to host them this fall.

It is our hope that we will be able to move a stand-alone bill quickly through the legislative process. There is widespread support among legislators and we are optimistic that we will be able to move this proposal quickly. When we have a bill number, we will forward it to you and ask that you have your supporters contact their individual legislators to offer support and encouragement for the proposal.

Again, thank you for your input and encouragement. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions and please forward this note to anyone who may be interested in an update about this issue.


Katy Prange
District Director
Office of State Senator Howard Marklein
17th Senate District
PO Box 7882
Madison, WI 53707-7882

District (direct) – 608-535-0841
Capitol - (608) 266-0703 or (800) 978-8008