Sample Block

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

[Federal Register: January 6, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 3)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 753-754]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []



Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms

27 CFR Part 4

[T.D. ATF-405; Ref. T.D. ATF-370; Notice Nos. 581, 749, 871]
RIN 1512-AB81

Johannisberg Riesling; Deferral of Compliance Date (98R-406P)

AGENCY: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Department of the 

ACTION: Final rule, Treasury decision.


SUMMARY: This final rule temporarily extends the applicability date 
with respect to the use of the term Johannisberg Riesling set forth in 
Sec. 4.92(b) in T.D. ATF-370. The reason ATF is deferring this date is 
to allow for the sufficient review and evaluation of comments and any 
additional information received as a result of a notice of proposed 
rulemaking, Notice Number 871, proposing to extend the phase-out for 
the term Johannisberg Riesling as a designation for American wines for 
an additional seven years.

DATES: This document is effective January 1, 1999.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Teri Byers, Regulations Division, 
650 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20226; Telephone (202) 
927-8195, or e-mail: <>



    Treasury Decision ATF-370, 61 FR 522, January 8, 1996, adopted a 
list of grape variety names which ATF has determined to be appropriate 
for use in designating American wines. The Treasury decision did not 
include Johannisberg Riesling in the list of prime names, either as a 
prime grape name or as a synonym. Johannisberg Riesling was instead 
listed as an alternative name in Sec. 4.92 for use in advertising and 
labeling wines only until January 1, 1999, after which the required 
varietal designation for this wine would be Riesling or the synonym 
White Riesling.


    ATF received a petition from the law firm of Buchman & O'Brien, 
filed on behalf of trade associations representing United States 
wineries. This petition requests ATF to extend the phase-out period for 
the term Johannisberg Riesling for an additional seven years to January 
1, 2006. The petition asserts that this change would allow American 
wineries additional time to educate the consumers and provide 
additional time for wineries to change labels, packaging, and 
merchandising material for this wine. Based on the evidence presented 
in the petition as well as documented support and marketing 
information, ATF is issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking that 
solicits comments and requests further information to determine whether 
the phase-out date should be extended to January 1, 2006.
    Because ATF needs time to receive and consider the evidence 
produced as a result of this notice, ATF is temporarily extending the 
current phase-out date provided by T.D. ATF-370 for the term 
Johannisberg Riesling from January 1, 1999, to September 30, 1999. ATF 
wishes to make it clear that neither the airing of this petition nor 
the issuance of this rule represents any change in ATF's position to 
eventually phase-out use of the term Johannisberg Riesling.

Notice and Public Procedure

    Because this final rule merely postpones the compliance date with 
respect to the use of Johannisberg Riesling as an alternative name in 
T.D. ATF-370, and in view of the immediate need for time to solicit and 
review comments received as a result of the notice of proposed 
rulemaking discussed above, it is found to be impractical and contrary 
to the public interest to issue this rule with notice and public 
procedure under 5 U.S.C. 553(b), and with a 30-day delayed effective 
date under 5 U.S.C. 553(d).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act relating to a 
final regulatory flexibility analysis (5 U.S.C. 604) are not applicable 
to this final rule because the agency was not required to publish a 
general notice of proposed rulemaking under 5 U.S.C. 553 or any other 

Executive Order 12866

    It has been determined that this final rule is not a significant 
regulatory action as defined in Executive Order 12866. Therefore, a 
Regulatory Assessment is not required.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 
3507) and its implementing regulations, 5 CFR Part 1320, do not apply 
to this final rule because no requirement to collect information is 

List of Subjects in 27 CFR Part 4

    Advertising, consumer protection, Customs duties and inspections, 
Imports, Labeling, Packaging and containers, Wine.


    Copies of the petition, the notices, the Treasury decision, and all 
comments are available for public inspection during normal business 
hours at: ATF Reading Room, Room 6300, 650 Massachusetts Avenue NW, 
Washington, DC.

Drafting Information

    The principal author of this document is Ms. Teri Byers, 
Regulations Division, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
    Therefore, pursuant to the authority set forth in 27 U.S.C. 205(e), 
ATF is postponing the compliance date with respect to the use of the 
term Johannisberg Riesling set forth in 27 CFR 4.92(b) to September 30, 

[[Page 754]]

    Signed: October 16, 1998.
John W. Magaw,
    Approved: November 20, 1998.
John P. Simpson,
Deputy Assistant Secretary (Regulatory, Tariff & Trade Enforcement).
[FR Doc. 98-34843 Filed 12-31-98; 2:07 pm]