What do the proposed Paso Robles AVAs mean for your weigh tags right now?

AVAI 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)

As I read about this I realized it brings up a topic related to what wineries are focusing on right now: Harvest. And more specifically within their harvest activities, their weigh tags. My last blog post was also about filling out weigh tags. Who knew there was so much to talk about around the topic?!

In this case, with these currently proposed – but potentially 11 new AVAs what it means is for any winery receiving grapes from one (or more) of those 11 areas that thinks they may want to eventually list the new AVA name on their wine label- best suggestion would be to put it on their weigh tags now- for potential label use down the road. Putting these on their weigh tags right now is a potential time saver by keeping them in the good graces of the TTB for required recordkeeping related to their labels.

I should also point out that because these 11 new AVAs currently are not approved, the winery would still want to put the currently approved AVA (Paso Robles) on their weigh tags. (In the event that the AVAs are not granted TTB approval, they'll still be covered for required recordkeeping details)

My suggestions here could be used by wineries that hand write their weigh tags as well as those using a computer generated version. As I already mentioned for those hand writing their tags they would be including BOTH the potential new AVA name as well as the current one, Paso Robles on their tags. For those wineries using a computer generated version, they would be creating a new code in their tracking software for the proposed AVAs, which automatically is then "parented" into the next larger AVA (Paso Robles) and appellations (San Luis Obispo County, Central Coast, California)  it is encompassed within. So in both cases they are again still covered for their TTB tracking & label option purposes. 


5 Gallon Kegs, Label Approvals and You.

5 gallon kegs have become a popular way for wineries to get their product out into the marketplace, specifically the by-the-glass marketplace. I had a client contact me recently for assistance with a new label approval (COLA) for his upcoming bottling. I've filed these for him in the past but this year was the first time he'd decided to try out the 5 gallon keg route. He asked me if a label approval was required for them, and I honestly didn't have an answer for him right away. Continue reading


TTB Label Approval Search Advice From Eliot Ness

The TTB's website really does have a lot of good information. (If you know where to look) I myself can vouch for this firsthand as I've been viewing it as part of my profession since 1998. It has come a long way since then! Now they are going back to their roots by including a section titled, "Eliot Knows" which is basically a version of their FAQs page.

Eliot's latest information for the curious wine regulation searcher is about one of the TTB's sites, the Public COLA Registry. Continue reading