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February 13, 2015


Greetings! We hope you had a devoted and heartfelt week! This week's top stories include announcements about two AVA rulemaking projects, the newest version of our Permits Online system (Release 4.1), the selection of the new director of our Regulations and Rulings Division, and a list of the past week's top Pay.gov/ pages at TTB.gov/.


On Monday, February 9, 2015, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking (Notice No. 147) in which we propose to expand the use of American Viticultural Area (AVA) names as appellations of origin on wine labels to wines that have been fully finished within a state that is adjacent to the state in which the AVA is located. Current regulations allow wines to be labeled with an AVA appellation of origin if the wine is fully finished within the state in which the AVA is located.  The proposal is consistent with the current requirements for use of a state name as an appellation of origin, and if adopted would provide greater flexibility in wine production and labeling while still ensuring that consumers are provided with adequate information as to the identity of wines they purchase.

  • Read the related press release: TTB Solicits Public Comment on Proposed Changes to Regulations Affecting the Use of American Viticultural Area Names as Appellations of Origin on Wine Labels.

We wish to clarify that this proposal does not alter the TTB regulations regarding a winery's eligibility to use the term "estate bottled" on wine labels (see 27 CFR 4.26). A wine label may only bear an "estate bottled" claim if, among other things, the wine has been fully finished within the named AVA.

To view all documents and comments related to this proposal, go to Docket No. TTB-2015-0003 on the Regulations.gov/ website.  To submit a comment electronically, use the Regulations.gov/ comment form for Notice No. 147.  To submit comments by postal mail or hand delivery, see the instructions in the notice.  Comments on this proposal are due by April 10, 2015.

We are making this proposal in response to comments we received regarding Notice No. 142, Proposed Establishment of The Rocks District of Milton–Freewater Viticultural Area, which is located near the Oregon-Washington State line in northeastern Oregon. See Docket No. TTB-2014-0003 for all documents and comments related to that AVA.


On February 9, 2015, we published T.D. TTB-127 in the Federal Register, a final rule establishing "The Rocks District of Milton–Freewater" American viticultural area (AVA) in Umatilla County, Oregon. This new viticultural area is entirely within the existing Walla Walla viticultural area, which, in turn, is within the Columbia Valley viticultural area. The Rocks District of Milton–Freewater is distinguished by its unique cobblestone-filled soils.

We made this rulemaking in response to a petition from local wine industry members. We designate viticultural areas to allow vintners to better describe the origin of their wines and to allow consumers to better identify wines they may purchase. See Docket No. TTB-2014-0003 for all documents and public comments related to this new AVA.  The final rule is effective on March 11, 2015.

  • Read the related press release: TTB Establishes "The Rocks District of Milton–Freewater" Viticultural Area.


We are pleased to announce the newest release of Permits Online!

With the improvements and new features available in Version 4.1 of the Permits Online system, you can now electronically do everything that you need to do to submit original permit applications, including making cash bond payments. You will also be able to add a new person (with signing authority) to your Permits Online account in case you need an alternate person handling your submitted application.

We are confident the changes in the Permits Online system will help make applying for original and amended permit applications simpler, faster and more accurate. If you have questions about Permits Online, you can email us at Permits.Online@ttb.gov/ or call us at 877-882-3277 (877-TTB-FAQS).


On February 8, 2015, Amy Greenberg became the director of the Regulations and Rulings Division (RRD). Amy came to TTB in 2004 as a Presidential Management Fellow and was instrumental in building TTB's Tobacco Program from the ground up. Besides serving as Program Manager of the Tobacco Program, Amy has also served as Assistant Director of RRD and has led many high-level regulatory projects, including implementing the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act provisions and current work on implementing TTB's International Trade Data System under the President's Executive Order on Streamlining the Export/Import Process for American Businesses.

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