Ask Your Advocate – Does the TTB plan on requiring GMO labeling in alcoholic beverages?

Does the TTB plan on requiring GMO labeling in alcoholic beverages?

The TTB does not mandate the use of GMOs on alcoholic beverages. There is no federal GMO labeling requirement currently. Until such time, disclosure is voluntary. The TTB is currently doing an internal review on the existing standards for disclosing any GMOs used in the winemaking process. As of now, with the lack of a federal labeling requirement, it remains to be seen what TTB will do, if anything.

How do I know what is required to ship wine into a particular state?

Currently, 43 states allow some form of direct shipment to varying degrees. Each state has a different requirement. It is easy to become confused by all of the different laws and regulations in each state, but virtually all states that allow shipping have a permitting requirement. No shipping should be down without the proper permitting. Visit ShipCompliant’s state-by-state listing here for a better understanding of what is required.

Are you a WineAmerica member? Email us your questions!

Join Today!

WineAmerica membership offers you direct access to policy makers here in Washington D.C. and a shared grassroots platform with wine industry peers across the country. No matter how many acres of grapes you grow or cases of wine you make, all American wineries share common concerns. As the only national grassroots voice in Washington, D.C. WineAmerica is constantly working to protect and promote the prosperity of America’s diverse wine industry.

2015 Wine and Grape Policy Conference

Save the Date

Sunday, April 12 – Tuesday, April 14

Holiday Inn Capitol

550 C Street S.W.

Washington, DC 20024

(202) 479-4000

WineAmerica and Winegrape Growers of America are reuniting to produce the 2015 Wine and Grape Policy Conference, April 12-14, 2015. The conference features a revised format to maximize learning, advocacy and networking in a setting only minutes away from Capitol Hill and our nation’s key regulatory agencies.  Winegrowing from grape to glass is heavily regulated. This meeting is the industries opportunity to make its voice heard.

This two-and-half day conference will feature speakers, presentations and insights on the politics and policies affecting our industry. A meeting of the WineAmerica Board of Directors and the State and Regional Association Advisory Council will be included in the agenda. The conference will culminate with the annual “Wines of America” reception. Held in the House of Representatives Office Building, in concert with the Wine Caucus, this tasting demonstrates the importance of the American wine industry by featuring wine from over twenty states. This reception is your opportunity to introduce your wine to your member of Congress.

The 2015 Wine and Grape Policy Conference is your opportunities to make a difference about the laws that affect you.


REGISTRATION & SPONSORSHIP: To register or to sponsor the conference, click here.


(Please Book These On Your Own)

Holiday Inn Capitol

Rates: $259/night occupancy, taxes not included

Deadline to reserve a room through the room block is Friday, March 13, 2015. Hotel rooms fill up fast. Please make your hotel reservations before this date!

For hotel reservations, please call the Holiday Inn Capitol 877-572-6951 and reference booking code WG8. For online reservations, please click here.

Hotel Accommodations are being held at the Holiday Inn Capitol for the Winegrape Growers of America for check-in beginning Saturday, April 11, check-out Thursday, April 16. Rate is $259.00 per night. This rate does not include DC sales tax, currently 14.5%. Credit card information is needed at time of reservation.  Individual cancellation policy is 72 hours prior to date of arrival to avoid one night’s room plus tax cancellation charge on credit card provided. Please call 1-877-572-6951 and reference your confirmation number. Please obtain a cancellation number when cancelling a reservation.


Ohio Delegation Visits Capitol Hill with WineAmerica

Last week, WineAmerica and Donniella Winchell, Executive Director of the Ohio Wine Producers Association and Vice Chair of the WineAmerica SRAAC, led a small delegation of winemakers and grape growers to Washington, DC, including long time WineAmerica Members Debonne Vineyards and Ferrante Winery. The Grand River Valley in Northeast Ohio suffered catastrophic losses to their grape crops last year due to the extreme cold weather of the 2014 Polar Vortex, with many vineyards facing 100% crop loss. The delegation met with the USDA and the members of the Ohio Congressional delegation to bring USDA and the delegation up to date on all of the 2014 losses. WineAmerica’s government affairs firm Meyers & Associates participated and facilitated these important meetings.

The WineAmerica and the Ohio delegation met with the Risk Management Division of USDA to express appreciation for existing programs, such as the Tree Assistance Program which is part of the Farm Bill, and to explore any potential avenues to address the 2014 losses. Congressional meetings included Rep. David Joyce (whose district includes the Grand River Valley) and Rep. Marcy Kaptur, and the offices of Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman.

Forming and maintaining important relationship with members of Congress, and keeping them up-to-date on the wine industry’s many needs, is just one example of how WineAmerica works for its members. Get involved. Join today.

Register Now for the Eastern Winery Exposition and Get a Discount as a WineAmerica Member

Happy New Year!

We are pleased to offer all of our members a 10% registration discount for the 4th annual Eastern Winery Exposition taking place March 17-19 at the Oncenter in Syracuse, New York.

To get your WineAmerica 10% sponsor discount, login as a member above and click on “Savings on Supplier Services” under Members Only Content. Copy the discount code found under Eastern Winery Exposition and paste it into the appropriate field on conference registration form. Registration form can be found here:

If you haven’t registered yet, January is a great time to do so. Not only are Advance Rates in place, but EWE is also running a Beat the Winter Doldrums event throughout the month for one new registrant to win a free registration. And EWE has expanded that promotion for sponsor association members only. In addition to the chance for the free registration, new association registrants will also be put in a drawing for 50% off a 2015 registration. Here’s how it works:

  1.  Complete your registration and payment for EWE at any time during the month of January. To get your regular WineAmerica 10% sponsor discount, be sure to enter your WineAmerica discount code into the discount code field.
  2.  On February 1st EWE will draw one name from all who registered in January and one name just from association members who registered in January.
  3.  The two winners will be notified and refunded (1) the full cost or (2) 50% of his/her EWE registration.

The promotion applies to new registrations completed in the month of January only. Register by January 31 at

With 225 trade show booths already sold, EWE is now the largest winery and vineyard trade show and conference east of the Pacific states and the largest show of its kind ever to be held in New York State.

The three-day Eastern Winery Exposition begins Tuesday, March 17, with two day-long Workshops, one to feature vineyard and winery start-ups, the other tailored to vineyards and wineries growing from small to mid-, or mid- to large-size operations. A welcome wine reception Tuesday evening provides opportunities for networking and socializing.

The two-day conference, along with the trade show, kicks off on Wednesday and features sessions focused in four areas: Viticulture, Enology, Cold Climate Grapes and Marketing, Money and Management.

Additionally, Cornell Senior Extension Associate Tim Martinson, also Project Director of the Northern Grapes Project, will lead a series of sessions focused on issues for cold-climate grapes. The Northern Grapes Symposium takes place within the EWE conference Wednesday, March 18.

The full conference program and speaker roster as well as registration are available online at

The Eastern Winery Exposition is an Eastern-focused wine industry trade show and conference designed to provide the Eastern U.S. and Canadian wineries and vineyards with an easily accessible, low-cost professional meeting with a large number of winery and vineyard suppliers, at the right time of year.

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.”