NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas — If you want to buy a new bottle of wine from your local winery, you may be out of luck due to the government shutdown.
- Winery says government shutdown is affecting new product release
- Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau is closed
- Anticipates it may hit the winery financially
The federal agency that approves labeling for new products, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, is closed until the government reopens.
Brandie Jewell is the owner of Water2Wine in downtown New Braunfels. She said this hit the winery in an unexpected way.
"We had planned to release some wines as early as February and that is absolutely not going to happen right now," Jewell said. "I went to go hit submit my label approval for January and I realized there's nobody on the other end to receive them."
Initially, the winery's customers didn't take it very well.
"Their first reaction is always just shock," Jewell said.
She's found a workaround and is selling her newest wine prohibition style.
"We have renamed it Shutdown Red. Only available by the glass, not available by the bottle, you can only have it right here," Jewell said.
Water2Wine normally releases new products every six weeks. While the small batch winery hasn't taken a financial hit yet, Jewell is anticipating it.
"As we continue to move down the months without any new bottles to sell then yes, I fully expect to see an impact come the end of February," Jewell said.
She says when the government reopens, she's expecting a backlog of label approvals nationwide.
"A process that used to take maybe 6 weeks may now take three months," Jewell said.
Until then, customers are embracing the Shutdown Red.
"They've been coming in and drinking this like crazy," Jewell said.