Wineries beware! TTB label approval times are now back up to over 30 days!
Here is my post from 2 years ago w/info on how you can plan ahead for this necessary step in the process:
All wines that are bottled by wineries to be sold for consumption are required to have a federal label approval. The industry term for this is certificate of label approval, or COLA. Of the three alcoholic beverage categories (Beer, Wine and spirits) the number of applications for label approval received by the federal regulating agency, the TTB from the wine industry makes up over 80% of the total. Add to this scenario the current government budget issues which have resulted in staff cuts and retirements at the TTB and the end result is label approval processing time has gone up. Many in the industry had become accustomed to their label approval turn around time lasting about 10 working days. (This is for those using the TTB’s electronic filing system, COLAs Online) That time frame now has now gone up to 38 Days! Read more
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. Read more
Did you know that all wines have a standard of identity? All US wines that is, and this is in relation to how the TTB (www.ttb.gov/wine) defines them. A required item for any wine label is what the TTB refers to as a "class & type". In most of our cases the class we are speaking of is the "grape wine" class. (Some of the others include citrus, fruit and sparkling just FYI) Then moving into the "class" part of it the list of options there used to include 17 designations of European origin. An agreement was signed between the US and the EU in 2006 which essentially removed those 17 designations for use on US wine labels unless you'd grandfathered their use in via earlier labels. Read more