Wiggins introduces resolution opposing proposed TTB regulations

SACRAMENTO – The chair of the Senate Select Committee on California’s Wine Industry on Monday introduced a resolution to put the state Legislature on record as opposing a pair of rule changes recently proposed by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB).

The proposed changes involve the establishment of the Calistoga Viticultural Area as well as a revision to American Viticultural Area Regulations.

Sen. Patricia Wiggins (D-Santa Rosa), who represents the premium wine-growing regions of Lake, Mendocino, Napa and Sonoma counties, said that "the proposed TTB regulations will allow deceptive and dishonest wine labels. Consumer protection could be eroded, while the integrity of the wine industry could be challenged."

Assemblymember Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa), chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Wine, is principal co-author of the Wiggins measure, Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 22.

"We must protect consumer confidence in wine labels," said Evans. "California has fought hard to have labels that tell consumers exactly what they get in the bottle. Any muddying of these waters is of great harm to our wine industry."

SJR 22 calls on the TTB to withdraw Notices of Proposed Rulemaking Numbers 77 and 78, saying that they pose a threat not only to California’s wine industry, but to all American wine producers and their ability to trade fairly domestically and internationally.

SJR 22 has been scheduled for hearing by the Senate Governmental Organization Committee on Tuesday, Feb. 12 at the State Capitol.