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Press Contact: Kate Jones at 707.433.4173
Abridge Contact: Bennett Caplan at 240.744.7602

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An International Alcohol Beverage Regulations Databank Meets Global Demand

SACRAMENTO, CA, January 29, 2008—A comprehensive interactive online databank of regulations and international agreements for the wine industry is being launched today by Abridge ( at the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium in the Sacramento Convention Center in Sacramento, California.

“Abridge is the wine industry’s first fully searchable database for international regulations and agreements,” stated President Jim Finkle, President of FIVS, a Paris-based international organization representing wine, beer and spirits interests in more than 25 countries. “We see the site as an abridged version of regulations and as providing a bridge between trade agreements—a virtual bridge to navigate the complexities of the alcohol beverage trade.”

The database is for all professionals involved in the international wine trade sector, including company representatives, lawyers, regulatory and policy advisors, wine brokers and other service providers. A user-friendly hub, this high-speed database provides subscribers with easily accessible up-to-the-minute information on international regulations governing production, composition, labeling, packaging, taxation, promotion and marketing of wine. It also allows users access to the myriad international trade agreements impacting this sector.

“This will greatly increase speed and efficiency,” said Project Manager Bennett Caplan. “For example, users are able to compare how certain aspects, such as labeling requirements, tariff levels and heath-related issues are handled in various wine trade agreements. Customers have the ability to search, slice, dice and compare data across markets. What used to take hours of research can now be done in minutes.”

“The wine industry continues to globalize with new markets and new producers emerging every day,” said Caplan. “This up-to-date resource was created by Abridge to satisfy industry demand for current information on regulations and related norms that govern all aspects of production and trade of these products around the world.”

The project will begin with a focus on the top ten wine import and export markets, including the United States, the European Union and Australia. It will ultimately be available in multiple languages. The database creates “trade scenarios,” which allow users to obtain relevant legal information for trade between selected markets. Regulatory data for different countries can be viewed in side-by-side comparisons according to topic. Joseph Rollo, Director of the International Department at the Wine Institute, embraces Abridge as a means to facilitate trade in the global marketplace. “From a trade standpoint, the ease of comparing requirements in different countries will improve understanding of existing worldwide regulatory frameworks. This is a great market entry resource for wineries wanting to export their products and for importers wanting to introduce them.”

Abridge also provides an Interactive Forum for customers to communicate with one another. Tim Ryan, Sr. Director of Compliance and Regulatory Affairs for E. & J. Gallo Winery and Chair of the Business Advisory Council of Abridge, views this aspect as a useful means to converse with his peers and others in the industry. “We discuss best practices and approaches to emerging or current regulatory issues in my business,” he explained. The Networking section within Abridge “is the place for me to find the people I need to deal with around the world on wine regulations.”

An additional function called the Expert Forum is the go-to venue for users to access authoritative information on “hot topics” of the day. This section of the site includes white papers and other opinion pieces reflecting current global affairs in the wine business. Current topics include allergen labeling, ingredient labeling and how pesticide residue levels are regulated in various markets.

Significant future content will be developed, such as the inclusion of other international topical areas and domestic regulations. Other key global markets, including emerging markets, will be incorporated. Abridge will become a key source of other industry-related information, such as codes of accepted practices, guidance notes, and industry and market reports. The database will also be extended to other categories of alcohol beverages.

Abridge is overseen by Abridge LLC, located in Bethesda, Maryland. The databank is being developed and maintained under the auspices of FIVS ( — the global alcohol beverage association. Founded in 1951 and headquartered in Paris, France, FIVS represents all sectors of the alcohol beverage industry. Its members include producers, distributors, importers, exporters and trade associations around the world.

Abridge, in conjunction with the FIVS website, provides a “one-stop shop” for regulatory affairs, currently focusing on the global wine sector, with plans to expand into other alcohol beverage areas. Annual subscriptions are $5,000. For a free 15-day restricted trial offer or to subscribe to the service, contact Bennett Caplan, Senior Vice President, Global Management, 7409 Beverly Road Bethesda, MD 20814. Phone: 240.744.7602; e-mail:

Available Upon Request: Media password to review site functionality.

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