WineAmerica Launches New Website

WineAmerica, has launched an overhaul of its website, featuring new educational and business tools for its membership and the public. Working with Grow Creative in Portland, OR, these tools will serve as an information depository for policies affecting the American wine industry.

New features include:

  • A state statute and policy database on three major topics: taxes, regulation, and direct shipping.

  • A detailed map of wineries in Congressional districts.

  • A searchable catalogue of the monthly National Wine Policy Bulletin by state or topic.

  • Guidelines for wineries on how to engage with members of Congress.

  • Educational files on best practices and business tools.

  • A comprehensive listing of all state and regional winery associations.

These tools will service WineAmerica’s winery members, supplier members, and association members of WineAmerica’s State and Regional Associations Advisory Council (SRAAC). While many of the features are made available to members only, much of the website is accessible to the public, geared toward the needs of the media, policy makers, and the American wineries.

“WineAmerica’s new website is the culmination of a reorganization plan that was initiated at our Spring Board Meeting in Washington, DC,” said Caroline Shaw, Executive Vice President of Jackson Family Wines, and WineAmerica Board Chair. “The new website, and the retention of Meyers & Associates, LLC as our new government affairs firm, gives the WineAmerica Board and Staff the tools it needs to represent our members and the American wine industry as a whole in Washington, DC.”

 

FDA Publishes Final Rule on Menu Labeling Requirements for Restaurants

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released their final rule for menu labeling requirements for restaurants that are part of a chain of twenty or more with the same ownership, operating under the same name. The FDA was required to establish the rule under the nutrition labeling requirement contained within the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Alcohol, which originally was proposed to be exempted by the FDA, is now included in the labeling requirement for restaurants.

A restaurant that meets the requirement of twenty or more will now have to list the calorie and nutrition information for all beer, wine and spirits that  are listed on a menu. Mixed drinks not listed on a menu are exempted from the requirements, as are liquor bottles on display behind a bar. Restaurants have significant flexibility in choosing a basis for nutrient contents disclosures. This can include the USDA’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. The USDA’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference includes the categories, “alcoholic beverage, wine, table, red,” “alcoholic beverage, wine, table, white,” among several other general categories for alcoholic beverages. The USDA will allow covered establishments to use these entries as the bases for their nutrient content disclosures for alcoholic beverages that are standard menu items.

The FDA will not be encroaching on the TTB’s regulation of the alcohol industry, and all of the nutrition labeling requirements will comply with TTB requirements. Alcohol producers will not be required to disclose the nutritional content of their products or conduct laboratory analyses of their products. The burden for disclosure is on the covered establishments (restaurants) and they will be allowed to use the accepted USDA measurements for caloric and other nutritional content.

The final rule goes into effect on December 1, 2014 and covered establishments have until December 1, 2015 to comply. If you have questions please contact Michael Kaiser at mkaiser@wineamerica.org.