Thursday, April 29, 2010

FWWS 2010 Summer Tasting at Ray's Boathouse!

Dear FWWS members,

We are delighted to inform you that our 2010 FWWS Summer Tasting Event will be at Ray's Boathouse on beautiful Shilshole Bay in Seattle. This pouring opportunity is open to FWWS members only.

The event will be from 5:30 to 8:30 on Thursday, July 29th. Attendance will be limited to 150 guests. Ray's catering will be providing appetizers to accompany our wines. The entry fee will be $45, which should be an attractive price point. We plan to be pouring wine in our brand new FWWS Riedel tasting glasses which should show your wine at its best. If you have not been there, this is a beautiful venue on one of the statistically best weather days of the year.


Registration will be limited to 24 wineries on a first-come first-served basis. Pouring wine will be donated by the winery. There will be a wine store for wine sales for which you will be paid 70% of your suggested selling price.

One final item, FWWS has purchased event insurance to cover members acting on behalf of the organization. Since pouring will be by members-only this means that no special proof of event insurance will be required from you. We want to point out once again that this insurance in no way takes the place of separate festival liability insurance which is part of your winery liability policy and protects you and your business.

We think this will be a great opportunity for members to show their wines in a very favorable way within this important market. Don't wait to sign up!

Go to this link to sign up now!

The FWWS Board

PS: Please post the details of the event on your calendar of events, e-mails, newsletters, tweets, etc. at your earliest convenience and even if you are unable to attend. This is a fundraiser for FWWS and helps to keep your dues low which we know is important to you. Thanks.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

HR 5034 Comprehensive Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness (CARE) Act of 2010

Proposed legislation ( recently introduced in the US Congress would offer federal backing to anti-competitive and discriminatory state alcohol beverage laws. Supported by the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA), this damaging bill would give wholesalers the ability to use state law to insulate themselves from competition. Family Wineries of Washington State (FWWS) strongly opposes this effort.

NBWA’s legislation would, without any justification, allow states considering alcohol beverage measures to virtually ignore the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution and federal law in all but the narrowest circumstances. This is a dangerous precedent, since courts and Congress historically have struck a careful balance, when considering state alcohol laws, between the Twenty-first Amendment (that gives states authority over the importation, transportation, and delivery of alcohol within their borders) and other parts of the Constitution.

By seeking a blunt reconfiguration of the relationship between the Constitution and state alcohol laws, NBWA is asking Congress to put a thumb on the scale in favor of their monopoly distribution system. The proposed legislation, while couched as addressing public safety and states’ rights, is merely a smoke screen for a power grab by beer wholesalers that would stunt competition, reverse years of long-established judicial precedent, and severely limit consumer choice. Not surprisingly, the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) weighed-in in support of this ill-conceived proposed legislation ( which, if passed, could severely curtail the ability of wineries to direct-ship wines.

FWWS will be preparing a statement in opposition to this legislation soon and will transmit it to our legislators in Washington, D.C. In addition we encourage each of our members as well as all wineries and wine industry members to individually contact your legislative representatives to strongly oppose HR5034. We also encourage each of our members and all wine industry members to visit the many on-line discussions and voice your opposition to this proposed legislation:


Free the Grapes

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Welcome New Industry Member Cork Supply Group

I am pleased to welcome our newest industry member, Cork Supply Group, to the FWWS. Here is some information on them:

Cork Supply USA is the leading supplier of natural cork in the United States. With our patented Innocork technology for TCA removal we can supply superior product at competitive prices. Combine that product with a dedicated sales consultant and you have yourself a dependable supply chain to ensure more fluid production and a higher quality total package for your customers.

Natural cork isn't our only specialty however. We also represent high quality product lines such as Rivercap USA tin capsules and polylaminate, Nomacorc USA synthetics, Newpak USA screw caps, and Cork Supply's own cooperage Tonnellerie O.

Welcome to the org!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Welcome New Member Lowden Hills Winery

I am pleased to welcome our newest member, Lowden Hills Winery, to the FWWS. Here is some information on them:

Lowden Hills Winery, owned and operated by Jim and Sonja Henderson, is a small, family owned winery nestled in the picturesque Walla Walla Valley. Our distinctive wines are handcrafted in small lots, blended for complexity and depth of flavor.

We use time-tested methods of winemaking and viticulture to assure you premium wines to be savored today and for many years to come.

Welcome to the org!

Monday, April 12, 2010

TTB Guidance on Personalized Labels

In recent months there has been some confusion as to what exactly is required by TTB when submitting a label with personalized information, whether it is for a wedding, a birthday, or etc. TTB has now clarified the requirements for personalization with the following release:


TTB understands that there is a growing market for alcohol beverage products that contain personalized information on the label. With the increase in demand in the market place for these types of products, TTB wants to provide the industry with clear guidance on our long-standing policies as they relate to personalized labeling.

Who must obtain label approval?

Importers and bottlers of alcohol beverage products are required to obtain a Certificate of Label Approval (COLA) for all products entering into commerce. See 27 U.S.C. 205(e). In addition, wholesalers must obtain a COLA for relabeling (labeling of bottled or packed tax-paid alcohol beverages) purposes in accordance with ATF Revenue Ruling 62-224. The COLA covers only labels displayed on the COLA form and allowable revisions as outlined in Section V of TTB F5100.31. However, for personalized labels it has been TTB’s long-standing policy to permit salutations, names, and congratulatory dates to change on the label, provided the specific information that may vary is described in detail in item number 19, the special wording section, on the COLA form.

How do I obtain a COLA and what does it cover?

A label containing personalized information must be attached to TTB F5100.31. Alterations to the salutation must be listed in item 19 of the application form or in the special wording section of the electronic application.

Example: A label application for a wedding is submitted on TTB F5100.31. The label states “Congratulations John and Jane”. Item number 19 of the application form states: salutations may change to include “Happy Anniversary,” “Happy Birthday,” “Best Wishes,” or other similar phrases. The names and dates listed will either be deleted or may change.

All intended salutations must be listed on the application form, or a new COLA form is required.

What is not covered?

Personalized label approvals cover the label attached and alternate salutations listed in item 19, the special wording section, only. Graphics are not permitted to change or be added without obtaining a new label approval. In addition, no personalized information may be in conflict with the Code of Federal Regulations parts 4, 5, 7, 9, 12, or 16. For example, labels may not include a name, graphic, pictorial, or emblem with represents a famous living person of public prominence, or existing private or public organization, if it is likely to mislead the consumer that the product has been endorsed, made, or used by, or produced for, or under the supervision of, or in accordance with the specifications of such individual or organization. See 27 CFR 4.39(a)(6), 5.42(a)(6), and 7.29(a)(6). Labels also may not contain American flags or emblems, misleading health claims, or other prohibited items as specified in 27 CFR 4.39, 5.42, and 7.29. This is not an all-inclusive list.

Monday, April 5, 2010

MIW Bulletins Introduction

The following e-mail was sent to the FWWS Board by Jennifer Skoda, the WSLCB Non-Retail Enforcement Captain:

I am writing to let you know that the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) has adopted an electronic alert system, entitled the MIW Bulletin, for periodically notifying non-retail licensees of issues of mutual concern. The WSLCB will issue the MIW Bulletin via e-mail.

Introducing the Electronic MIW Bulletin

The MIW Bulletin is in electronic format designed to target manufacturers, importers and wholesalers so that the WSLCB may quickly communicate with you about liquor regulation news that is relevant to your business.

Below are examples of times when we may issue an MIW Bulletin:
  • Recent decisions by the Board affecting your industry;
  • Emerging enforcement issues to bring to your attention;
  • Opportunities for you to weigh in on proposed rules affecting your industry;
  • Clarifying rules, laws or other issues where confusion exists.
Contact Information

The WSLCB does not currently maintain email addresses for most licensees. We are working through industry associations including the Wine Institute, the Family Wineries of Washington State, the Washington Brewers Guild, the Washington Beer and Wine Wholesalers, and the Distillery Representatives of Washington (DRAW) to reach you.

If you received this e-mail from the WSLCB, you don’t need to do anything. We have your e-mail address.

If this message was forwarded to you and you are interested in receiving future MIW Bulletins, please send the following information to the e-mail address below. Please put the term “MIW Bulletin” in the subject line.
  • Name of business
  • License #
  • Contact first and last name
  • E-mail address
Pease send this information via email to JS[at]

Coming Soon

We are creating a non-retail enforcement page on the WSLCB Enforcement Page. This page will host all MIW Bulletins, frequently asked questions, and other information that we hope you find informative and helpful. Look for the new site this May.

If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at (360) 664-1639 or JS[at]


Jennifer Skoda
WSLCB Non-Retail Enforcement Captain

Regional Informational Meeting SE WA

Greetings Southeast Washington members! An FWWS board member will be on hand in Walla Walla this coming Thursday, April 8th for an informal informational and Q&A session. Dave Stephenson has graciously agreed to host at his downtown facility located at 15 South Spokane Street, Walla Walla. The meeting time is 6:30 PM.

This is the first of several such meetings we plan to host around the state this year. We want to update you on the FWWS legislative agenda and organizational initiatives, organization finances, etc. We will also be looking at feedback from you as to what your priorities and concerns are. We believe that this local small group format will allow us to answer questions in detail and, more importantly, to allow more of you to participate than would be possible in a single statewide meeting. Feel free to bring along some light appetizers if you like (and naturally a little of your finest).

We hope to see you there. Please contact John Morgan at John.Morgan[at] with any questions.