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May 3, 2013

Greetings!  We hope you are having an honest and inspirited week! This edition announces Rochelle Stern as our new Director of the Regulations and Rulings Division, and includes guidance on how to prepare an American Viticultural Area (AVA) petition.

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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TTB Welcomes Rochelle Stern as the new Director of the Regulations and Rulings Division

We are pleased to announce Rochelle Stern has reported as our new Director, Regulations and Rulings Division.  Ms. Stern comes to TTB from the Treasury Department, where she was the Assistant Director for Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and was responsible for the drafting and publication of OFAC's regulations and for leading OFAC's Policy Division in coordinating the planning, development, and implementation of U.S. sanctions programs and regulations.

How to Prepare an American Viticultural Area (AVA) Petition

Under TTB regulations, an AVA is a defined grape-growing region of the United States having the distinguishing features, name, and a delineated boundary as established in 27 CFR part 9. The use of an AVA name on a label allows vintners and consumers to attribute a given quality, reputation, or other characteristic of a wine made from grapes grown in a certain area to its geographical origin. Thus, the establishment of AVAs allows vintners to describe more accurately the origin of their wines to consumers, and, in turn, helps consumers geographically identify wines that they may purchase. AVAs are established through the rulemaking process.

Our TTB AVA Manual  How to Prepare an American Viticultural Area (AVA) Petition includes guidance on how to prepare an AVA petition and evaluate information on distinguishing features. We encourage petitioners to review the manual before drafting or submitting a petition. We maintain a list of established AVAs at We also maintain as a list of perfected AVA petitions that we have accepted for consideration; in other words, they have met all requirements but we have yet to determine whether to move forward with a notice of proposed rulemaking.