Articles by: Carol Kingery Ritter

In Memory…

A year ago, we lost our colleague and great friend, Greg Walsh.  Greg died of a heart attack at age 42.  At DP&F, we have been celebrating Greg’s memory in many ways over this last year, and this week we honored Greg by holding a CPR training at our Napa office.  We were fortunate to […]

Grapegrowing and FSMA Compliance

As of 2018, winegrape growers are now required to adhere to the burdensome requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule when selling winegrapes to wineries for processing.  However, most winegrape growers will qualify for an exemption from the FSMA rule (see FDA flow chart for rule and exemption applicability). For winegrape […]

How Do You Buy Wine If Your Name is Steven Diamond?

The Illinois Joint Committee on Administrative Rules has solved the more important question, namely, is a winery responsible for paying sales tax on shipping charges.  The Joint Committee has approved amendments to the Illinois law, which will be retroactive back to November 19, 2009, creating unambiguous safe harbors, including clarity that shipping charges are not […]

Considerations in Structuring Alternating Proprietorship Agreements

In 2008, TTB published an Industry Circular- Alternating Proprietors at Bonded Wine Premises (http://www.ttb.gov/industry_circulars/archives/2008/08-04.html).  The Circular sets the parameters for establishing an alternating proprietor (AP) relationship that will satisfy TTB regulations.  The structure, although called an alternating proprietorship, is fundamentally a lease arrangement involving two parties:  the AP and the “host” winery.  The AP is […]

New Paso AVAs Available for Use in November

In early 2006, the Paso Robles AVA Committee (PRAVAC) began an organized outreach effort to growers and vintners across the Paso Robles wine country and kicked off the formal process of gathering historical and scientific evidence that would support the further definition of the distinctive wine regions within the Paso Robles AVA.  For many PRAVAC […]

TTB Proposes New Oregon AVA, Cites Wine Blogs as Support

Winegrowers vying to become the 18th American Viticultural Area in Oregon have reached an important milestone. On February 26, 2014, a new notice of proposed rulemaking was published in the Federal Register, soliciting comments regarding the proposed “The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater” AVA. The comment period is open until April 28, 2014, and comments can […]

Insight into TTB’s Approach to AVAs: The Inwood Valley AVA

Since the establishment of the Augusta AVA in 1980, ATF, and now TTB, has varied its approach to executing its legislatively delegated task of establishing American Viticultural Areas (AVAs).  In early 2011, TTB amended the AVA rules entirely.  With the recognition of the Inwood Valley AVA, effective as of October 15, 2012, we gain insight […]

Proposed Naches Heights AVA an Exception to Recent TTB Stated AVA Policy

On May 24, 2011, TTB published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to establish the Naches Heights American Viticultural Area (AVA) in Yakima County, Washington.  The Naches Heights AVA would be located within the Columbia Valley AVA.  TTB is asking for comments on the NPRM on or before July 25, 2011.  The proposed AVA is […]

TTB Proposed Rulemaking Published for Coombsville AVA in Napa Valley

On May 24, 2011, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) published the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to establish the Coombsville viticultural area within Napa County and the North Coast and Napa Valley AVAs.  TTB is accepting comments on the NPRM until July 25, 2011.  Comments may be submitted online, by […]

West Sonoma Coast: Investing in Marketing over AVA Recognition

Vintners and growers from the far western coastal areas of the Sonoma Coast AVA have recently launched a marketing program to promote the “WestSonomaCoast” area.  The group has determined, at least for now, that the politics and bureaucracy surrounding the AVA formation process do not best serve the group’s goal of distinguishing the far west […]

Preliminary 2010 California Grape Crush Report Released – Used as Pricing Measure in Grape Purchase Contracts

The preliminary 2010 California Grape Crush Report was released today, February 10, 2011.  The report shows that 3.58 million tons of wine grapes were crushed in 2010, down 3% from the 4.095 million tons crushed in 2009.  Red wine varietals were down only 1% from 2009 while crushed white wine grapes were down 6% from […]

TTB Eliminates Expedite Requests and Informal Reviews for COLA Applications

On February 2, TTB posted a bulletin on its COLA and formula approval process.  Due to increases in label and formula submissions and economic impacts on the agency, TTB will no longer accept “Expedite Requests” or “Informal Reviews” effective immediately.  TTB is cautioning applicants to allow for a 90-day application review process.  The agency is […]

TTB Issues Final Rule on New Procedures for Recognizing AVAs

On January 20, 2011, TTB published the long awaited Final Rule on its controversial Notice No. 78, which proposed substantial changes to the AVA petitioning and formation process.  Notice No. 78 was published on November 20, 2007; the same day that the agency published Notice No. 77, proposing to establish the Calistoga AVA.  Perhaps the […]