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Elise Baril: Common Misconceptions and Advice About Wine Compliance

I recently met with my friend and fellow wine compliance colleague, Elise Baril. Elise is President of Baril Compliance Service, located in Santa Rosa, CA. We have  recently been developing a referral relationship between our businesses and in that spirit I wanted to tap into and share some of her advice and input from over 25 years of wine compliance experience in this complicated area of the wine business.

I asked her two questions:

1. What is the biggest misconception that wineries have about their shipping compliance?

2. What key advice would she give to someone who is interested in a career in wine compliance?

Her responses provide helpful insight to both wineries and budding wine compliance specialists.

What is the biggest misconception about wine shipping compliance?

“Most wineries don’t understand the complexity and expense of compliance. Each state is different, and they all have different rules and regulations, and each state regulator has different timetables and lead times that they must adhere to. There are also fewer regulators (staff cut-backs) to handle the paperwork, so approvals are taking longer to issue.”

Anybody who has interacted with wine shipping compliance at all will agree with this 100%!

What key advice would she give to someone who is interested in a career in wine compliance?

“In order to learn compliance, someone either has to learn under someone else who is handling, or has handled wine compliance. Or they can learn it by doing the compliance for a company that is growing state by state slowly, therefore giving the employee time to do their homework and understand the regulations and paperwork as to avoid any problems and to have the permit issued quickly. I liken it to doing tax returns for 50 countries with 50 different rules for taxation. Very complicated and always changing.”

I especially agree with her comment about learning “state by state slowly”. The gradual, little by little approach when it comes to learning and understanding any area of wine compliance has the best success rate.

Here is some additional information about Baril Compliance Services:

  • Provides services for small to large wineries, negotiant/brand owners, marketing companies and importers on an as needed or ongoing basis
  • Uses a database with a secure online portal that gives you 24/7 access to your nationwide compliance information
  • Provide services for ABC/TTB permit applications, wholesale and direct to consumer compliance
  • Outsourcing compliance saves on personnel costs and increases sales through reduced delays
  • Estimates are prepared on an individual basis
  • For more info, testimonials and contact info: