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. 


Who Needs Power of Attorney at Wineries?

I recently conducted a survey about the top wine compliance challenges winery staff are facing. One of the questions asked them if they had power of attorney for their winery. This was in reference to the TTB, or federal level. The overwhelming majority (70%) said no. I was really surprised by this. (And somewhat concerned) Continue reading


Survey : What Are Your Top Wine Compliance Challenges?

Winery compliance is a complicated area which is only made more complicated by the fact that there is little to no formal training for those responsible for it.

I realized this first hand 15 years ago when I first began managing winemaking records at Sterling Vineyards.

I want to help all of you who are currently in the place I was back in 1997 so you don't have to learn things "the hard way".

In this post I'd like to ask all of you who are responsible for winery compliance records or reports to take a survey. In continuing to develop specific compliance training materials for all of you I'll use your answers for ongoing program development.

Thanks for your help, I appreciate your time and input.

Here is a link to the survey:



Once your results are in I'll post the details and be launching my next training programs from there!


PS. Feel free to respond to this post or send me an email if there are any specific topics you'd like to learn about that aren't mentioned in the survey!