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March 8, 2013

Greetings! We hope you are having a calm and happy week! This edition includes our proposed establishment of the Moon Mountain District Sonoma County viticultural area, information about the small domestic producer's tax credit on wine, and important information on organic alcohol beverages.

In the TTB Newsletter, we compile the top TTB news of the week and other helpful information about the Bureau and the Federal alcohol and tobacco laws and regulations we enforce.

Please send any questions or comments to the Executive Liaison for Industry Matters at and/or

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In Notice No. 133, we propose to establish the 17,663-acre "Moon Mountain District Sonoma County" viticultural area in northern California.  View comments and documents related to this proposal at, Docket No. TTB-2013-0002. To send a comment electronically, use the comment form for Notice No. 133. To submit comments by postal mail or hand delivery, see the instructions in the notice. Comments are due on or before May 3, 2013.

Who is eligible for the Small Domestic Producer's Tax Credit on Wine?

There are many specific rules and conditions surrounding this tax credit and proprietors who take it should be very familiar with all of them to avoid tax errors.

Producers of not more than 250,000 gallons of wine are eligible for a credit that lowers the tax due on the first 100,000 gallons of wine taxably removed each calendar year. The amount of allowable credit begins to decrease as production exceeds 150,000 of wine and is entirely gone when production exceeds 250,000 gallons.

Non-producing wine premises and companies which produce more than 250,000 gallons per year are generally not eligible to use the small domestic producer's credit when making taxable removals from their bonded premises. The exception is when the credit is transferred by an eligible small producer to another taxpayer (a "transferee"), to be used on its behalf. A transferee is often a bonded wine cellar (BWC), but it may be any bonded wine premises.

Read more about the Small Domestic Producer's Credit and common tax audit issues that we see.

Organic Alcohol Beverages

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations for the National Organic Program are found in 7 CFR part 205. These regulations create standards for the production, handling, processing, labeling, and marketing of all organically produced products, including alcohol beverages, sold in the United States. If a domestic bottler or importer uses the word "organic" on a label in any fashion likely to be perceived as claiming that an alcohol beverage or anything associated with it is organically produced, contains organic ingredients, or was processed in an organic manner or facility, we consider this an organic label claim. So, the requirements outlined in 7 CFR part 205, including labeling requirements, would apply.

Read more about making organic claims on labels.

For more information about the National Organic Program, please visit the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service website.