Wineries warn shutdown will delay new bottles

Wineries warn shutdown will delay new bottles
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Winemakers are warning that the ongoing government shutdown will delay new bottles from releasing this spring.

Several vintners told Wine Spectator that new releases are in limbo because the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) is one of the agencies shut down during the funding lapse. 

The TTB is responsible for approving new labels, which is a requirement for winemakers to ship wine. The process for approval can take up to 36 days, according to Wine Spectator.

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Adam Lee, a winemaker at Siduri Wines, told Wine Spectator that the shutdown could end up costing smaller wineries up to $20,000.

"We need to get past this," he said. "It is hurting business in ways that's not currently being thought of."

Wineries can still ship and sell labels that have been approved in past years, but the TTB will not review any new label applications until the government opens again. The shutdown has now been ongoing for more than a month.

Wine Spectator noted that many wineries release new wines, particularly rosés, in the spring. The delay will also affect imported wine labels and the opening of new wineries.

Earlier this month, breweries warned that the shutdown is preventing them from releasing new craft beers. And alcohol-related lobbying groups have noted growing frustration in the industry as the shutdown continues.