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Wine Spectator: Wine And The Government Shutdown

January 23, 2019

Benovia winery in the Russian River Valley was planning to label and release its first Blanc de Noirs sparkling wine this spring, but the partial government shutdown has put those plans on hold. Due to the lapse in funding, the government agency responsible for approving Benovia’s wine labels, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), has shut its doors and suspended its approval process for new alcoholic beverages, leaving the winery in a bind.

“Until you have label approval they won’t let you label and ship the wine,” Benovia co-owner and winemaker Mike Sullivan told Wine Spectator. “It’s sort of in limbo until the government opens up.”

Similar stories are playing out across the country as wineries and breweries feel the sting of the shutdown. Without label approval, some winemakers may have to wait to bottle their wines currently sitting in tanks and barrels. Those delays could eventually mean financial consequences for winemakers and fewer choices for consumers on store shelves. Wine Spectator has a full report.—Augustus Weed

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