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.
Want to look up all of your wineries label approvals? (At least back to 1999)
Curious about other wineries (or importers) label approvals?
The Public COLA Registry is the place to go for your search.
I myself use this site on a semi regular basis for both my own clients, potential clients and just out of curiosity about random wine labels I see or hear about.
One of the curiosities I will often satisfy by researching a wine label on this site is who the bottling winery is. (*Compliance Lesson* It is always the bottling winery that is responsible for acquiring label approvals for all wines they bottle)
So for example awhile back I saw that Boz Scaggs now has his own wine label, under the brand name Scaggs Vineyard. I wanted to find out which winery bottles (and potentially makes- but that's another blog post) his wine.
So I went to the Public COLA Registry site: https://www.ttbonline.gov/colasonline/publicSearchColasBasic.do
Once there I entered Scaggs Vineyard in the product name box and voila! Up came a list of wines with that (or similar) brand names.
From there it was just one more step to find out that his wines are bottled (and made) by Ancien Wines in east Napa.
The other helpful details in Mr. Ness' post provide guidance for using a wildcard character when doing your searches, say for example if you want to run a broader search for brand names that use a certain word or phrase.
This is a good idea especially when you are either just starting a new winery or wine business or if your already established winery is creating a new brand.
Searches can be done in this registry to find out if the brand name(s) you are planning to use is already taken. (Potential trademark issues)
There are also some details about using the "Advanced Search" option, which would be used to look up a specific winery site's label approvals for example.
For the full read from Eliot as well as to see the rest of his FAQ section here is the link: