Free Harvest compliance “Tips & Tricks”
Posted on 2014-09-10 by Ann Reynolds

Harvest 2014 while underway, has been a “start, stop” sort of harvest here in Napa so far. That is the picking began and then either slowed way down or stopped while waiting for the next round of grapes to hit the “ready” stage of ripe. 

Then of course here in Napa many wineries were hit to varying degrees by the earthquake over 2 weeks ago now, so the fact that grape deliveries had slowed down was actually a bit of a silver lining as the cleanup process had to be taken care of.

So as wineries get back in gear with harvest, which by nature is a chaotic & unpredictable event I’d like to offer some organizational assistance to reduce some of that chaos.

This assistance is my free “Harvest compliance Tips” list. These are designed to give you simple, specific guidance around your weigh tags, work orders and reports to:

  • Help keep your harvest numbers organized for later use
  • Keep you in the good graces of the TTB, and county Ag commissioner (both of these agencies can audit!)

If you’re someone who is responsible for completing weigh tags, or completing the CA Grape crush report- these compliance tips are for you.

Send me an email to sign up:      ann@winecompliancealliance.com

 

 





Wineries: No cross outs on your weigh tags!
Posted on 2014-08-21 by Ann Reynolds

It’s game on for crush 2014! I now regularly see trucks carrying those familiar white plastic bins on the roads here in Napa. Once the grapes start rolling in things heat up pretty fast. (No fermentation-related pun intended) Things can also quickly become rather chaotic when it comes to harvest related recordkeeping. Specifically your weigh tags. If you are someone who fills out weigh tags- I’ve got a warning reminder for you: one thing the county and the state do NOT want to see on your weigh tags: numbers that are crossed out. Those numbers would of course be your weights, the gross, tare and net that are filled out on a weigh tag. Continue reading





Yikes! Harvest 2014 is here! Does your compliance need a refresher?
Posted on 2014-08-04 by Ann Reynolds

The grape harvest is once again upon us. For all of you that actually means something to (all you hardworking winery folk!) you’re either excited to see it come, somewhat intrigued because it provides a change of pace or you’re very much in the “been there, done that” camp with the whole thing.

If you’re in either of the first two categories AND part of your job duties involve any of the following:

  • Filling out weigh tags for grape loads
  • processing work orders related to harvest
  • completing or submitting the TTB “702” or CA Grape crush reports

Listen up! Are you totally confident in these records & reports I mentioned? Confident that they would all meet the requirements of any of the following:

  • TTB audit
  • County AG commissioner audit
  • County Planning audit

If you either hesitated or thought “what’s an audit?” then chances are you’re a candidate to benefit from my webinar on Thursday, August 7th. Click here to sign up.

Each of the items mentioned, weigh tags, work orders and the two reports are required to list specific details and be completed in specific ways that are directly tied to TTB, California and county (Napa) regulations.

Listen in on the webinar to find out just what those are & see if your winery records are already set up to keep in the good graces of all 3 levels of government! Just click this link below to sign up:

“Have a Hassle Free Harvest” Webinar:   Thursday, August 7th   10:30 am to noon PST

Questions are welcome & encouraged! (specific to the topics covered of course)





What can & can’t be done right now while the TTB is shut down.
Posted on 2013-10-02 by Ann Reynolds

shutdownThe TTB is shutdown. Those were the words those of us in the compliance world of wine woke up to yesterday. It still sounds so surreal to me. So what exactly does it mean? For wineries? For those wanting to start their new wine business?

Here’s a brief summation of what “can” and what “can’t” currently be done right now depending on which category you fall into as well as my suggestions for what else to be doing right now to have ready for when the TTB comes back to life.

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“I have known and worked with Ann for twelve years and her experience in production and consequently positions in wine/cellar tracking and compliance have always been innovative, timely and accurate. As the Quality Control Manager and lab director for Sterling Vineyards, Ann’s skills and work ethic have made the responsibilities and logistics of my position run smoothly and efficiently.”

Julianna Beckmann Gosling
Assistant Winemaker, Rob Lawson Consulting
What do the proposed Paso Robles AVAs mean for your weigh tags right now?
Posted on 2013-09-26 by Ann Reynolds

AVA

I see that 11 new petitions have recently been submitted to the TTB for new AVAs all within the current Paso Robles AVA. For one, that’s a lot of slicing and dicing all at once! And of course there has already been plenty of history to the quest to create several more sub-AVAs within the sizeable piece of land that the parent AVA Paso Robles already is. (5th largest in California)

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What does wine production really mean?
Posted on 2013-09-09 by Ann Reynolds

napa-county-logo-150x150

I’ve recently read some articles about random audits here in Napa county conducted by the planning office. These random audits occur annually on 5% of Napa’s wineries which hold use permits with the county planning office. One of the key items they are looking at during these audits is a winery’s production gallons. The term production gets tossed around a lot in the wine business. It means different things to the different people and different agencies connceted to it, and in my world of compliance it has very specific definitions given to it by government agencies such as the county planning office in this case. It is also a specifically defined term used by the Alcohol Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau (TTB). Do you know the difference in definition between those two agencies and how it can impact your winery?

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Harvest (training) on Sale!
Posted on 2013-08-28 by Ann Reynolds

on-saleYep- it is game on for harvest 2013 from the sights and stories around here in Napa County. Mostly the “early” varietals so far, your lower alcohol wines. I’ve been hearing from several folks with random crush related questions around their compliance. Nothing like waiting til the last minute! If you haven’t seen it already- take a look at my last post with some suggestions for preparing your harvest compliance tasks.   The questions I’m getting are mostly around the topic of weigh tags. Those (regulated) documents used for tracking (& buying & selling) loads of grapes. Do you know whether your weigh tags meet federal, state & county requirements? 

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Harvest 2013 is Here! Is Your Compliance Ready?
Posted on 2013-07-25 by Ann Reynolds

Another annual cycle is once again upon us in the wine business: harvest. AKA “crush”. The predictions that have been floating around out in web postings for the past month state that this will be an early and big year for grapes here in Northern California. Early and big. Two words that when used in combination to describe the grape harvest tend to leave winery staff cringing. The unpredictable nature of the grape harvest definitely adds a level of excitement (or frustration) for those who have to deal with the tracking area of winery records.  This means you if you are a weighmaster or manage data entry of harvest work orders and keep track of your wines as they become “produced”. If this sounds like you do you know if all your records are ready? Do you know how you can tell?

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Woops Wineries……….did you spill something?
Posted on 2013-06-13 by Ann Reynolds

I just recently read a story about a spill that happened at a winery where a tank holding 7,500 gallons of wine had a bolt break, causing the wine to spill out and head rapidly down the drain.

I’ve actually seen a few of these wine loss events happen over the years at different wineries and definitely the bulk of the activity happens frantically as the scene originally unfolds. Cellar crew scrambling madly to catch the wine spraying out from the tank and re-direct it into another one to minimize the overall loss as much as possible. A pretty incredible event to watch to see the crew spring into action and coordinate their efforts to manage the chaos as best as possible.

But what about afterwards? After the frenzy has died down, wine gallons have gone down the drain, and the rest have been relocated into other tanks/vessels? Do you know what details need to be sent to the TTB to inform them of the wine loss?

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Guess what Alternating Proprietors? You CAN take your COLAs with you!
Posted on 2013-06-05 by Ann Reynolds

Today’s blog post is for anyone who either is an Alternating Proprietor (AP) or is a site that hosts them & offers TTB label approval submission assistance. I just learned this newest TTB update twist last week that can save you some time when planning for your bottlings- by eliminating the need for the label approval step in that process. Here’s the scenario I’m talking about. One of the advantages as an AP is that since you are sharing the space of an already existing winery if you decide you need a change of scenery you can pick up and “move your winery” to another site that hosts AP’s. Now after you’ve made that move, how does it then impact your label approval activities?

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