There is a type of wine business that until recently I had only read about on the TTB’s (Alcohol & Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau) website. They are called taxpaid wine bottling houses, or TPWBH on their TTB permits instead of BWN’s or BWC’s. What are they and what do they do you ask?
There is no shortage of terminology used in the wine industry and that tends to go double when talking specifically about winery compliance subjects. One of those commonly used terms is bond. Some common phrases you might hear are, “What’s your bond number?” “The wine is still in bond” or “What is your bond coverage?”. What does it all mean?
Have you ever seen one of these ABC posting signs while driving around? Chances are you have if you live in an area that has a lot of wineries. You may have seen them posted in any number of locations: in front of your neighbor’s house, in a storefront window or out in front of a winery. Perhaps you wondered, “what’s the deal?”.
Who runs the show at your winery when it comes to TTB compliance? Contrary to what or who may have come to mind after reading the title here the direction I’m heading with this post is geared towards your winemaking records and reporting activities. Particularly those which are regulated by the TTB, which happens to be most of them. My next question is do you know who has power of attorney filed with the TTB for your site? If you don’t know here is why you not only need to and why it makes good compliance sense to know.
At current count there are well over 6,000 wineries in the US and those numbers only continue to go up. Keep in mind that number is just the count of wineries, not the actual count of all of the wines that they each make. And they generall will each make several different wines. This means for the lucky consumers that they have no shortage of choices when it comes to wines. This explains why you may have seen someone standing in the wine aisle and staring at the long row of bottles before them with a glazed expression on their face. How do they make a choice with so many options? Wineries themselves have a range of choices when it comes to designing the labels for those bottles. This includes the option of multiples displayed on the front label of their wines. Multiples in three different areas; varietals, appellations or vineyard sites.
Wine labels are required to have a specific set of items. One of those is an alcohol content. This must appear on the front (or brand) label. When it comes time to design all of the details that go into a wine’s label there are two areas which wineries focus on in making their decision for what alcohol content to use. The first is around marketing considerations and the second is taking into account the federal regulations guiding their percentage options.
For those of you reading this that can tell me what the acronym COLA stands for, this post is for you. Even for anyone whose first thought was “what does soda have to do with wine?”, but work in the wine industry this post is still a good one to read through.
In 2008 the TTB received and processed over 130,000 label approval applications, 80% of which were for wine. (the remaining 15% were for beer & spirits labels.) Those numbers have been going up steadily as the number of US wineries only continues to rise. So it potentially comes as no surprise that the room for error in these label applications has also grown.
The use of stainless steel tanks in the winemaking process first began in the 1950′s and besides the ever popular use of wood in the form of wine barrels is still the most common storage vessel seen at a winery. They have many advantages over other types of containers, leakage for one and temperature control for another. Temperature control is of high importance to winemakers both during the fermentation process and throughout the rest of a wine’s life.
But what about the role of a tank (stainless steel or otherwise) in the compliance area of winemaking? Wineries are required
You may have heard of the term “cola” used frequently in the wine industry around wine labels. Perhaps you thought, what does soda have anything to do with wine? Do soda drinkers also tend to be wine enthusiasts? Is is a descriptor term in some way? None of these are the case. The acronym COLA stands for certificate of label approval. All wines, (actually all alcoholic beverages to be sold in the US) are required to have one of these. These approvals are given by the same federal agency that regulates the wine industry, the Alcohol & Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau. (they of course get an acronym too, thank goodness, as the TTB for short.) Continue reading