This may sound absurd but it is true. The wine producers are not allowed to sell their wines at the cellar door. It is strictly forbidden. This is not in any normal wine country but in Sweden. There are actually a few vineyards in Sweden, perhaps 20, maybe even more, but with of course very small acreages. Since there is a retail monopoly in Sweden these producers are not allowed to sell their wines to visitors. They can hope to be selected by the monopoly (not always easy) or they can export their wines to other countries. Or try and get their wines listed on the obscure “on order” range.
There is a currently a political debate if cellar door sales should be permitted (“gårdsförsäljning”). More and more politicians support it. But the Systembolaget monopoly does not like this. They have bought full-page propaganda ads (costing millions) in virtually all Swedish papers and sent letters to all politicians. One would have thought that the monopoly should execute the will of the people and the politicians but the Systembolaget is apparently of a different opinion. They think it is Systembolaget who should tell the people and the politicians what to think. Odd, isn’t it?
A few comments in Swedish press (use Google Translate if you are curious):
- Systembolagets vd:s varning till politikerna.
- Gå hem, du är för full, Systembolaget
- Dags att avskaffa Systembolaget
This post is also available in: Swedish