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February 28, 2014


Greetings! We hope you had a tranquil and rejuvenating week! This week's top stories include information about who we are and what we do as a bureau, links to alcohol wholesaler information and resources, an announcement about a newly proposed American Viticultural Area, and a list of the past week's most popular Wine pages at TTB.gov/.


TTB, or the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, is a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. We employ some 450 people across the country, including our headquarters offices in Washington, D.C., and the National Revenue Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. Our staff are highly educated and technically trained; more than half are analysts, chemists, investigators, and auditors. In addition, a large number of our employees are financial, legal, information management, and computer specialists.

Our Mission
Our mission is to collect federal excise taxes on alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and ammunition and to assure compliance with federal tobacco permitting and alcohol permitting, labeling, and marketing requirements to protect consumers.

Our Responsibilities
Our main responsibilities are protecting the public and collecting the revenue. We carry out these responsibilities in a variety of ways, including by issuing permits, approving alcohol labels, performing product analyses, conducting audits and generally by ensuring tax and trade compliance with the Federal Alcohol Administration Act and the Internal Revenue Code.

The TTB Story

On January 24, 2003, TTB was established under the Homeland Security Act of 2002. Take a moment to view our short educational video, The TTB Story. This comprehensive historical narrative of our agency gives an overview of TTB's vision and mission, which date back to the first federal taxes levied on distilled spirits in 1791!


Anyone engaged in the business of purchasing alcohol beverages for resale must have a basic permit from TTB.  Alcohol Wholesaler Basic Permits also authorize a wholesaler to export alcohol beverages, with or without payment of tax. Please note that you must have a permit approved by TTB in hand before commencing business.

At the end of 2013, there were 25,400 active wholesaler permittees in the United States. The number of wholesalers has been increasing steadily, with an 8 percent increase since the end of 2012.


In Notice No. 142, a notice of proposed rulemaking published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, February 26, 2014, we propose to establish the "The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater" American viticultural area.  The proposed AVA is in Umatilla County in northeastern Oregon, and it is entirely within the existing Walla Walla Valley AVA, which, in turn, is entirely within the existing Columbia Valley AVA.

TTB is making this proposal in response to a petition filed by a member of public; the petition states the proposed viticultural area is distinguished from the surrounding areas by its cobblestone-filled soils.  TTB designates viticultural areas to allow vintners to better describe the origin of their wine and to allow consumers to better identify wines they may purchase.

View copies of Notice No. 142, selected supporting materials, and any comments TTB receives about the proposal at the Regulations.gov/ website, within Docket No. TTB-2014-0003. You can submit comments online about this proposal, as well.  Please see Notice No. 142 for alternative methods of commenting.  Comments on this proposal must be received on or before April 28, 2014

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Please visit the homepage of TTB.gov/ for the most recent news, or visit the Contact Us page if you have any questions.