[Federal Register: January 6, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 3)]

[Rules and Regulations]               

[Page 753-754]

From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]





Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms

27 CFR Part 4

[T.D. ATF-405; Ref. T.D. ATF-370; Notice Nos. 581, 749, 871]

RIN 1512-AB81


Johannisberg Riesling; Deferral of Compliance Date (98R-406P)

AGENCY: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Department of the 


ACTION: Final rule, Treasury decision.


SUMMARY: This final rule temporarily extends the applicability date 

with respect to the use of the term Johannisberg Riesling set forth in 

Sec. 4.92(b) in T.D. ATF-370. The reason ATF is deferring this date is 

to allow for the sufficient review and evaluation of comments and any 

additional information received as a result of a notice of proposed 

rulemaking, Notice Number 871, proposing to extend the phase-out for 

the term Johannisberg Riesling as a designation for American wines for 

an additional seven years.

DATES: This document is effective January 1, 1999.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Teri Byers, Regulations Division, 

650 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20226; Telephone (202) 

927-8195, or e-mail: <thbyers@atfhq.atf.tres.gov>



    Treasury Decision ATF-370, 61 FR 522, January 8, 1996, adopted a 

list of grape variety names which ATF has determined to be appropriate 

for use in designating American wines. The Treasury decision did not 

include Johannisberg Riesling in the list of prime names, either as a 

prime grape name or as a synonym. Johannisberg Riesling was instead 

listed as an alternative name in Sec. 4.92 for use in advertising and 

labeling wines only until January 1, 1999, after which the required 

varietal designation for this wine would be Riesling or the synonym 

White Riesling.


    ATF received a petition from the law firm of Buchman & O'Brien, 

filed on behalf of trade associations representing United States 

wineries. This petition requests ATF to extend the phase-out period for 

the term Johannisberg Riesling for an additional seven years to January 

1, 2006. The petition asserts that this change would allow American 

wineries additional time to educate the consumers and provide 

additional time for wineries to change labels, packaging, and 

merchandising material for this wine. Based on the evidence presented 

in the petition as well as documented support and marketing 

information, ATF is issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking that 

solicits comments and requests further information to determine whether 

the phase-out date should be extended to January 1, 2006.

    Because ATF needs time to receive and consider the evidence 

produced as a result of this notice, ATF is temporarily extending the 

current phase-out date provided by T.D. ATF-370 for the term 

Johannisberg Riesling from January 1, 1999, to September 30, 1999. ATF 

wishes to make it clear that neither the airing of this petition nor 

the issuance of this rule represents any change in ATF's position to 

eventually phase-out use of the term Johannisberg Riesling.

Notice and Public Procedure

    Because this final rule merely postpones the compliance date with 

respect to the use of Johannisberg Riesling as an alternative name in 

T.D. ATF-370, and in view of the immediate need for time to solicit and 

review comments received as a result of the notice of proposed 

rulemaking discussed above, it is found to be impractical and contrary 

to the public interest to issue this rule with notice and public 

procedure under 5 U.S.C. 553(b), and with a 30-day delayed effective 

date under 5 U.S.C. 553(d).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act relating to a 

final regulatory flexibility analysis (5 U.S.C. 604) are not applicable 

to this final rule because the agency was not required to publish a 

general notice of proposed rulemaking under 5 U.S.C. 553 or any other 


Executive Order 12866

    It has been determined that this final rule is not a significant 

regulatory action as defined in Executive Order 12866. Therefore, a 

Regulatory Assessment is not required.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 

3507) and its implementing regulations, 5 CFR Part 1320, do not apply 

to this final rule because no requirement to collect information is 


List of Subjects in 27 CFR Part 4

    Advertising, consumer protection, Customs duties and inspections, 

Imports, Labeling, Packaging and containers, Wine.


    Copies of the petition, the notices, the Treasury decision, and all 

comments are available for public inspection during normal business 

hours at: ATF Reading Room, Room 6300, 650 Massachusetts Avenue NW, 

Washington, DC.

Drafting Information

    The principal author of this document is Ms. Teri Byers, 

Regulations Division, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

    Therefore, pursuant to the authority set forth in 27 U.S.C. 205(e), 

ATF is postponing the compliance date with respect to the use of the 

term Johannisberg Riesling set forth in 27 CFR 4.92(b) to September 30, 


[[Page 754]]

    Signed: October 16, 1998.

John W. Magaw,


    Approved: November 20, 1998.

John P. Simpson,

Deputy Assistant Secretary (Regulatory, Tariff & Trade Enforcement).

[FR Doc. 98-34843 Filed 12-31-98; 2:07 pm]


This was last updated on January 12, 1999