Joint Industry Letter Requesting TTB Funding

Washington D.C., March 23rd

This morning the beverage alcohol industry sent a joint industry letter to the House and Senate requesting a funding increase for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) for FY2016. The letter was signed by twelve leading associations representing wine, beer, and spirits producers and wholesalers.

Last month, the President’s administration has requested $101 million for all TTB operations. Full funding is vital to the TTB and the industries the agency regulates. The letter asks that the Administration’s request be viewed as a minimum starting point for TTB funding and that TTB’s direct appropriation be increased above the Administration’s request by $5 million in a direct appropriation line item for enforcement of the Federal Alcohol Administration (FAA) Act.

The letters were signed by:

American Beverage Licensees
American Distilling Institute
Brewers Association
Beer Institute
Distilled Spirits Council of the United States
National Association of Beverage Importers
National Beer Wholesalers Association
The Presidents’ Forum of the Distilled Spirits Industry
Wine Institute
Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America
Washington Wine Institute

Questions? Contact Michael Kaiser at

WineAmerica in the News

Loosening AVA Regulations: Who benefits if wines can be ‘finished’ in adjacent states?

Washington, D.C.—An unusual proposal from the Tax & Trade Bureau (TTB) would allow wines to be labeled with the grapes’ AVA of origin, if “fully finished” in an adjacent state. TTB notice 147 was, the bureau stated, “in response to comments TTB received during the comment period for notice No. 142, Proposed Establishment of The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater District Viticultural Area, which is located near the Oregon-Washington state line in northeastern Oregon.” The proposal has engendered some confusion among wine industry organizations nationwide, although none has yet contributed to the dialogue on the bureau’s website. Michael Kaiser, director of public affairs at WineAmerica, sent his summary of the proposal to Wines & Vines.

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TTB now allows certain wineries to file excise tax returns annually


The TTB has issued new guidance on excise tax and operations report filing for wineries.

The TTB will now allow certain wineries to file their excise tax returns annually, rather than semi-monthly or quarterly. The requirements are: The proprietor has not given a bond for deferred payment of wine excise tax, and the proprietor:

  • Paid wine excise taxes in an amount less than $1,000 during the previous calendar year.
  • Is the proprietor of a newly established bonded wine premises and expects to pay less than $1,000 in wine excise taxes before the end of the calendar year.

“Not given bond for deferred payment” means you do not have an amount listed in the “deferral” space on the bond. The wine bond conditions allow up to $1,000 of the operations coverage on a wine bond of $2,000 or more to be used for deferral, so for an annual filer no additional deferral coverage would be needed. A bond of at least $1,000 and up to $1,999.99 provides $500 in automatic deferral coverage. If you show a deferral amount on the bond or would owe over $1,000 for the year, you do not qualify for annual filing.

Wineries that meet this requirement may file within 30 days of the end of the calendar year.

Proprietors of bonded wine premises operations must file the Report of Wine Premises Operations either monthly, quarterly, or annually. To qualify to file annually, a proprietor must:

  • File an Excise Tax Return annually.
  • Not expect the total of all bulk and bottled wine to exceed 20,000 gallons for any one month during the calendar year.

If you are not eligible to file an annual Excise Tax Return it means you are not eligible to file an annual Report of Wine Premises Operations. You also need to make sure you do not have more than 20,000 gallons of wine in any month. If you are eligible to file an annual Report of Wine Premises Operations, it is due January 15th of the year following the report year.

Questions? Contact Michael Kaiser at or 202-223-5172.

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Social Media Rules for Wineries

Social media is a vital form of marketing and advertising for wineries. Technology is changing rapidly while some laws and regulations have not caught up. WineAmerica complied the rules TTB has put in place for social media and internet advertising.


  • Required and prohibited content
  • Types of media covered by the TTB
  • Age Gating
  • Third Party Posts

Login as a member for access.

Need help logging in? Email Tara at or call at 202-223-5175.

Not a Member? 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.

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TTB proposes adjacent state AVA


The TTB has issued a new Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would change how American VIticultural Areas (AVA) can be used on a wine label.

The TTB is proposing that wineries in adjacent states be allowed to use the single-state AVA from the bordering state. To use the “Finger Lakes” as an example, a Pennsylvania winery would be able to purchase grapes from the Finger Lakes AVA and use the Finger Lakes AVA on the label, if the wine is fully finished in Pennsylvania. The regulations currently state that a Pennsylvania winery can purchase Finger Lakes grapes and use a “New York” state appellation of origin.

The current rules for AVA use on domestic wine label are:

  1. The labeled area is an American viticultural area approved under U.S. regulations
  2. Not less than 85% of the volume of the wine is derived from grapes grown in the labeled viticultural area
  3. The wine is fully finished (except for cellar treatment and/or blending which does not alter the class and type of the wine) in the state or one of the states where the viticultural area is located

To use the example “Finger Lakes” AVA again, it is currently allowed on a wine label if 85% of the grapes are grown in the Finger Lakes and if it is a New York winery, however the winery does not need to be located within the AVA, it simply needs to be within the state the AVA is located in.

Currently, in the case of a multi-state appellation, like the Columbia Valley, the winery producing the wine must be located within one of the states located in the AVA. So an Oregon winery located in the Columbia Valley can use grapes from a Washington vineyard in the Columbia Valley and use the Columbia Valley AVA on the label. The new proposed rulemaking does not change this.

The TTB would like to hear from the public on this proposal and is accepting public comments until April 10. To submit comments and to read the full Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, please go here: Use of American Viticultural Area Names as Appellations of Origin on Wine Labels

Questions? Contact Michael Kaiser at or 202-223-5172.

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