June 2022

California’s Newest Coastal AVA

by Katherine Pasichuke

The San Luis Obispo Coast AVA, also allowed to be dubbed ‘SLO Coast AVA’ on the bottle by the TTB, immediately evokes feelings of the slower pace of California coastal living just in the name. The TTB established this new AVA effective April 8, 2022.

SLO Coast AVA is approximately 408,505 acres with two already established AVAs nested within, the Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande Valley AVAs. To the west is the Pacific Ocean, spanning along the Central California coast from Hearst Castle down to Pismo Beach. To the east is the Santa Lucia Range, bordering the cooler marine influence this region experiences.

This area hosts Burgundy varietals and already provides some delicious wines with 78 vineyards and over 50 wineries throughout. More than 90 percent of existing acreage is less than six miles from the ocean, making it one of California’s coolest wine growing regions and a beautiful place to visit.




Changes for Alaska with Alcohol Laws, DTC Licenses for Wineries

by Katherine Pasichuke

On June 16, 2022, Alaska Governor Dunleavy signed Senate Bill 9, revamping the future for alcohol compliance for the state. SB 9 has placed new requirements on wineries, breweries, and distilleries shipping directly to consumers in Alaska. Up until now, wholesalers and manufacturers have not needed licenses to ship directly to Alaskan consumers.

SB 9 creates a manufacturer direct shipment license, with a biennial fee of $200. This new license authorizes the holder of a brewery retail license, winery retail license, or distillery retail license issued in another US state to sell and ship their products to Alaskan consumers. 

SB 9 also imposes new tax obligations on direct shippers. Once enacted, the holder of a manufacturer direct shipping license will be subject to the Alaska alcoholic beverage tax. Licensees will also have to send monthly statements and payments to the Alaska Department of Revenue, including total gallons and gallonage of each kind of beverage sold to consumers. Other requirements within SB 9 to be aware of include prohibiting shipping to consumers in dry areas of the state where the sale of alcohol is prohibited, using only ABC-approved common carriers, and abiding by certain volume limits

SB 9 does have a capacity cap for beers and distilled spirits manufacturers producing large quantities annually, but not for wine.

The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board is set to start accepting applications for this new license starting September 1, 2023, as SB 9 will take effect January 1, 2024. Until then, direct shippers may continue to ship into Alaska sans license or paying Alaskan beverage tax, but should keep on their radar that change is coming.