Tuesday, March 27, 2012

WineAmerica Hires Manager of Member Services

Michael Kaiser
(202) 223-5172
WASHINGTON, D.C. − WineAmerica, the National Association of American Wineries, is pleased to announce the hiring of Ms. Tara Good as the Manager of Member Services.
The Manager of Member Services will be responsive to individual member needs, ensuring that American wineries understand the issues affecting them and feel a greater sense of association ownership.  This value added service will explain the benefits of membership, making joining WineAmerica a simple proposition for potential new wineries.  Tara comes to WineAmerica from the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), a close trade association partner.  She grew up with wine in Sonoma County, California, and has a deep familiarity with the American wine business.
Incoming WineAmerica Chairman Edward O’Keefe of Chateau Grand Traverse winery said, “Our organization has had to operate lean through these difficult economic times much like many of our members, but we were still highly effective while making do with less.  Adding this new member services manager position is a positive step for the industry and the association.”
WineAmerica is an advocate for wine market competitiveness and policy transparency at the local, state, federal and international levels.  Its extensive grassroots reach among American wineries and state winery associations has been developed over nearly three decades.  Chief Operating Officer, Cary Greene adds, “Improving wine policy will always be our central mission, but we have bargaining power as a national association.  It’s our responsibility to demand discounts for our members on services they use everyday.  With this new staff addition, members should expect to see a broader range of useful benefits in the months ahead.”
With membership in 48 states and relationships built with state associations in the vast majority of these states, WineAmerica has the unique ability to reach legislators through their own local constituents.
For more information, visit: http://www.wineamerica.org

WSWA Announces CARE Act Now "Off The Table

The Wine Institute and WineAmerica applaud the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers
of America (WSWA) for its announcement that "the CARE Act is officially
off the table" and that the association will no longer seek co-sponsors
or passage of the bill (H.R. 1161).

We are disappointed, however, that beer wholesalers have announced they
will continue their Quixotic pursuit of H.R. 1161, legislation that is
widely viewed as anticompetitive and unnecessary. While we commend WSWA
for its decision to work with wine and spirits suppliers on a mutually
beneficial legislative agenda, we strongly urge the National Beer
Wholesalers Association (NBWA) to consider doing the same. It is
imperative that in these tough economic times, all sectors of our
industry work together for the greater good and not seek to divide by
pursuing misguided legislative proposals as the NBWA continues to do.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

WineAmerica Opposes New NY "At-Rest" Provision with Letter Sent to NY Assembly

WineAmerica, the National Association of American Wineries, on behalf of our member wineries in New York and across the nation, echo the concerns of the New York Farm Bureau and other related groups with respect to the possible adoption of an “at-rest” provision that would require wines to be stored in a New York warehouse for 48 hours before being distributed.
WineAmerica is comprised of approximately 800 winery members in nearly every state.  Through our state association partnerships, we represent the vast majority of the nearly 8,000 American wineries at the state, federal and international levels. The mission of WineAmerica is to encourage sound public policy that will allow for the growth of the American wine industry, and to provide wineries market opportunities both domestically and abroad.
The proposed “at rest” provision would add unnecessary delay and complexity to a distribution system that already poses significant hurdles for small production wine brands.  By increasing the expense associated with wine delivery, the proposal would result in lost sales and associated reductions in state excise and sales tax revenue in a sector of the New York economy that has shown dynamic growth over the last three decades.  See Stonebridge Research, The Economic Impact of Grapes, Grape Juice & Wine on the New York Economy, 2008 (Jan. 2010).
Wineries are often an engine of rural economic development in New York.  Anchoring towns throughout Central and Western New York, the Hudson Valley, Long Island, and other rural communities, the development of the state’s wine industry is a remarkable success story.  As local wineries continue to grow and flourish—improving their reputation throughout the country and around the world—it is incumbent upon the New York legislature to improve distribution efficiency for producers of small production brands.  An “at-rest” provision would be a significant step backward, building a barrier to market entry for local and out-of-state wineries with no commensurate benefit to the state.
New York can be a leader whose distribution laws further encourage the development of local wineries and promote the interstate sale of locally produced wine.  Improvements could make the distribution system more transparent and easier to navigate, and could serve as a model that other states could follow.
New York should not impose new obstacles to efficient interstate wine sales.  An “at-rest” provision would be a major impediment to interstate wine deliveries and would seriously damage the ability of local and out-of-state wineries to reach their customers.
We urge you not to adopt this harmful proposal.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

TTB Announces Certificate of Label Approval (COLA) Streamlining Efforts

TTB put out the following release regarding their recent Certificat of Label Approval streamlining process.  If you have any questions please contact Michael Kaiser at mkaiser@wineamerica.org or at 202-223-5172.

February 29, 2012

Certificate of Label Approval (COLA) Streamlining Efforts

We are excited to share with you some news about our COLA review process streamlining efforts and some of the changes we have planned for the coming months and years.

We received over 146,000 alcohol beverage label applications in 2011, which was up from over 134,000 applications in 2010. While the demand for alcohol beverage label approvals has increased significantly over the past several years, we continue to evaluate COLA applications as quickly and as accurately as possible. Our goal is to ensure all alcohol beverage products in the U.S. marketplace comply with our labeling regulations (mandated under the Federal Alcohol Administration Act) in Title 27 Code of Federal Regulations.

To date we have taken several actions toward streamlining our COLA review process.  These include making processing improvements designed to speed up review turnaround times; updating labeling FAQs at TTB.gov to help industry members comply with our labeling requirements; and researching industry needs and studying other Federal agencies’ best practices for label review processes so we can continue to improve our process in the future.

By streamlining our COLA review process, we hope to significantly reduce the amount of time it takes us to review labels and, in turn, the time needed to get compliantly labeled products into the marketplace. Visit our COLA Streamlining Efforts page at TTB.gov to learn more about our specific streamlining accomplishments and future initiatives:


To submit your comments or suggestions regarding our COLA streamlining efforts, please send us an email: streamlineefforts@ttb.gov.