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TTB NEWSLETTER | Weekly News

February 15, 2019


IN THIS ISSUE

Greetings! This week’s top news includes that we have reopened the comment period for the proposed establishment of the West Sonoma Coast AVA, we’ve resolved 7 trade practice cases stemming on a 2018 joint TTB/California ABC investigation, and we’re providing information about how to use the Public COLA Registry.

TTB REOPENS COMMENT PERIOD FOR PROPOSED WEST SONOMA COAST VITICULTURAL AREA

On February 12, 2019, we published a notice in the Federal Register to reopen the public comment period for Notice No. 177, Proposed Establishment of the West Sonoma Coast Viticultural Area, which was originally published on December 6, 2018. The proposed West Sonoma Coast viticultural area covers approximately 141,846 acres in Sonoma County, California, and is located within the existing North Coast and Sonoma Coast viticultural areas, and it would contain the existing Fort Ross–Seaview viticultural area. We are making this proposal in response to a petition filed on behalf of the West Sonoma Coast Vintners, and we are reopening the comment period in response to requests from several interested wine industry members.

You may electronically submit comments on this proposal and view copies of the proposed rule, selected supporting materials, and any comments we receive about this proposal at Regulations.gov within Docket No. TTB-2018-0008. A link to that docket is posted at our Wine - Notices of Proposed Rulemaking page at TTB.gov under Notice No. 177.

Comments on this proposal are now due on or before April 15, 2019.

CONSIGNMENT SALES RESULT IN MULTIPLE PERMIT SUSPENSIONS

Between December 2018 and February 2019, four California wine wholesalers and two California wineries each served one-day stipulated permit suspensions for violations of the consignment sales provisions of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act. An additional California wine wholesaler that was also under investigation opted to surrender its permit.

These six stipulated suspensions and one surrender all resulted from investigations that developed out of the joint operation that TTB conducted with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control in March 2018.

The four wholesalers who served suspensions are A&M Wines, Monticelli Brothers, Pavi Wines, and MB Vogelzang Vineyards. The two wineries who served suspensions are Six Sigma Winery and Tamber Bey Vineyards. Homage Vineyards surrendered its permit.

Specifically, these industry members engaged in consignment sales of wine to a trade buyer(s) who were not obligated to pay for the wine until after it had been sold to retailers. Consignment sales arrangements, like other unlawful trade practices, are used to gain an unfair advantage over law-abiding industry members and ultimately limit consumer choice.

Relevant documents related to the suspensions can be found on our Field Operations Administrative Cases page.

We are committed to creating a level playing field for law-abiding industry members of all sizes. Industry members who engage in anti-competitive practices damage other law-abiding businesses and prevent consumers from enjoying a wide selection of products.

Please visit TTB.gov for additional information on prohibited trade practices.

USING TTB'S PUBLIC COLA REGISTRY TO SEARCH CERTIFICATES OF LABEL APPROVAL (COLA)

Want to search for approved alcohol beverage labels? Need to know more about our Public COLA Registry? The Public COLA Registry should not be confused with COLAs Online. COLAs Online is our system for the submission and review of applications for COLAs. The Public COLA Registry, which does not require a username or password, allows the public to view information such as:

  • Approved, Expired, Surrendered, and Revoked COLA details,
  • Limited Basic Permit information for the COLA holder, and
  • Images of the approved electronically filed label applications (printable versions) received after June 2003 and most paper COLAs issued since 1999.

For more information about how to use the Public COLA Registry, see Using TTB's Public COLA Registry to Search Certificates of Label Approval (COLA).

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