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Old 27-05-2005, 10:50 PM
 
Posts: n/a
Default Court Says Napa Wine Must Actually Come from Napa

The California state appeals court has ruled that a 2000 California
state law is valid and that California is allowed to have stricter
labeling standards than the federal government. (New story, may require
registration:
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercu...s/11751963.htm)

The federal government began to define the meaning of wine growing
regions, like Napa, Sonoma, Rutherford or Carnos in the 1980s. The
federal rules say you cannot say Napa on the label, unless at least 75%
of the wine is made from grapes grown in Napa. The federal government,
however, made an exception for existing wineries that used a region
name like Napa as part of the winery name. These wineries were
grandfathered in and allowed to use Napa as part of the winery name
even when the wine was not from Napa. This included wineries like Napa
Ridge and Napa Creek.

The Napa Ridge and Napa Creek wine labels are now owned by the Bronco
Wine Company, a big central valley wine producer. Bronco is most widely
known for its deep discount labels, like "Two Buck Chuck", and
apparently sells mostly wine from central valley grapes under the Napa
Ridge and Napa Creek wine labels.

This offended the Napa wine growers, so in 2000 they got the California
state legislature to pass a stricter labeling law to forbid using wine
region names in the winery name unless 75% of the grapes actually came
from that region. Bronco has been fighting this law in court claiming
that California cannot set tighter labeling requirements than the
federal government and that this law violates Bronco's free speech
rights. The appeals court rejected those arguments and said the law was
valid.

Bronco has 90 days to decide if they will appeal to the California
Supreme Court. Meanwhile they are still selling wine under the Napa
Ridge and Napa Creek labels that is not made from Napa grapes.

------------------------------------
Mike's Wine Blog
http://mikeswinecellar.blogspot.com


  #2 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 28-05-2005, 03:00 AM
Tom S
 
Posts: n/a
Default


wrote in message
oups.com...
The California state appeals court has ruled that a 2000 California
state law is valid and that California is allowed to have stricter
labeling standards than the federal government. (New story, may require
registration:
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercu...s/11751963.htm)

The federal government began to define the meaning of wine growing
regions, like Napa, Sonoma, Rutherford or Carnos in the 1980s. The
federal rules say you cannot say Napa on the label, unless at least 75%
of the wine is made from grapes grown in Napa. The federal government,
however, made an exception for existing wineries that used a region
name like Napa as part of the winery name. These wineries were
grandfathered in and allowed to use Napa as part of the winery name
even when the wine was not from Napa. This included wineries like Napa
Ridge and Napa Creek.

The Napa Ridge and Napa Creek wine labels are now owned by the Bronco
Wine Company, a big central valley wine producer. Bronco is most widely
known for its deep discount labels, like "Two Buck Chuck", and
apparently sells mostly wine from central valley grapes under the Napa
Ridge and Napa Creek wine labels.

This offended the Napa wine growers, so in 2000 they got the California
state legislature to pass a stricter labeling law to forbid using wine
region names in the winery name unless 75% of the grapes actually came
from that region. Bronco has been fighting this law in court claiming
that California cannot set tighter labeling requirements than the
federal government and that this law violates Bronco's free speech
rights. The appeals court rejected those arguments and said the law was
valid.

Bronco has 90 days to decide if they will appeal to the California
Supreme Court. Meanwhile they are still selling wine under the Napa
Ridge and Napa Creek labels that is not made from Napa grapes.


I'm much more offended by that than by the misappropriation of European
place names.

IMO if a California wine says "Napa" anywhere on the label, it should be
made from fruit grown in Napa. Period.

A European place name on a (say) California wine is an obvious nod and a
wink to a style from the Old Country - sort of an homage. I don't fret
about the term "California Champagne" because everybody knows exactly what
that means, and is aware that the wine isn't from Champagne, but is merely
made in the style of wine from Champagne. I know that really irritates the
French, but AFAIC it's pretty much a non-issue anymore. Most wineries no
longer do it.

OTOH, I'd expect a California wine labeled "Napa Ridge" to be from a
vineyard overlooking or in the Napa Valley. The French (e.g.) are very
picky about such issues within their Country, and rightfully so. They sure
as hell wouldn't allow the words "Rhone" or "Burgundy" to appear on the
label of a bottle whose contents came from the Midi. Neither should crappy
California wine from the Central Valley be permitted to use the word "Napa"
on its label.

Tom S


  #3 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 28-05-2005, 03:00 AM
Tom S
 
Posts: n/a
Default


wrote in message
oups.com...
The California state appeals court has ruled that a 2000 California
state law is valid and that California is allowed to have stricter
labeling standards than the federal government. (New story, may require
registration:
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercu...s/11751963.htm)

The federal government began to define the meaning of wine growing
regions, like Napa, Sonoma, Rutherford or Carnos in the 1980s. The
federal rules say you cannot say Napa on the label, unless at least 75%
of the wine is made from grapes grown in Napa. The federal government,
however, made an exception for existing wineries that used a region
name like Napa as part of the winery name. These wineries were
grandfathered in and allowed to use Napa as part of the winery name
even when the wine was not from Napa. This included wineries like Napa
Ridge and Napa Creek.

The Napa Ridge and Napa Creek wine labels are now owned by the Bronco
Wine Company, a big central valley wine producer. Bronco is most widely
known for its deep discount labels, like "Two Buck Chuck", and
apparently sells mostly wine from central valley grapes under the Napa
Ridge and Napa Creek wine labels.

This offended the Napa wine growers, so in 2000 they got the California
state legislature to pass a stricter labeling law to forbid using wine
region names in the winery name unless 75% of the grapes actually came
from that region. Bronco has been fighting this law in court claiming
that California cannot set tighter labeling requirements than the
federal government and that this law violates Bronco's free speech
rights. The appeals court rejected those arguments and said the law was
valid.

Bronco has 90 days to decide if they will appeal to the California
Supreme Court. Meanwhile they are still selling wine under the Napa
Ridge and Napa Creek labels that is not made from Napa grapes.


I'm much more offended by that than by the misappropriation of European
place names.

IMO if a California wine says "Napa" anywhere on the label, it should be
made from fruit grown in Napa. Period.

A European place name on a (say) California wine is an obvious nod and a
wink to a style from the Old Country - sort of an homage. I don't fret
about the term "California Champagne" because everybody knows exactly what
that means, and is aware that the wine isn't from Champagne, but is merely
made in the style of wine from Champagne. I know that really irritates the
French, but AFAIC it's pretty much a non-issue anymore. Most wineries no
longer do it.

OTOH, I'd expect a California wine labeled "Napa Ridge" to be from a
vineyard overlooking or in the Napa Valley. The French (e.g.) are very
picky about such issues within their Country, and rightfully so. They sure
as hell wouldn't allow the words "Rhone" or "Burgundy" to appear on the
label of a bottle whose contents came from the Midi. Neither should crappy
California wine from the Central Valley be permitted to use the word "Napa"
on its label.

Tom S


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Old 29-05-2005, 07:22 PM
D. Gerasimatos
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In article ,
Tom S wrote:

I'm much more offended by that than by the misappropriation of European
place names.

IMO if a California wine says "Napa" anywhere on the label, it should be
made from fruit grown in Napa. Period.

A European place name on a (say) California wine is an obvious nod and a
wink to a style from the Old Country - sort of an homage. I don't fret
about the term "California Champagne" because everybody knows exactly what
that means, and is aware that the wine isn't from Champagne, but is merely
made in the style of wine from Champagne. I know that really irritates the
French, but AFAIC it's pretty much a non-issue anymore. Most wineries no
longer do it.

OTOH, I'd expect a California wine labeled "Napa Ridge" to be from a
vineyard overlooking or in the Napa Valley. The French (e.g.) are very
picky about such issues within their Country, and rightfully so. They sure
as hell wouldn't allow the words "Rhone" or "Burgundy" to appear on the
label of a bottle whose contents came from the Midi. Neither should crappy
California wine from the Central Valley be permitted to use the word "Napa"
on its label.



Well, it is a brand name. You have to be careful with that. What if I
start a winery in Santa Barbara and call it, say, "Santa Barbara Winery"
(which really exists, of course). Do all of the grapes in that wine have
to come from Santa Barbara? What if I call it "Ojai Vineyard" (which also
obviously exists)? Do all the grapes have to come from Ojai? Clearly, most
of Ojai Vineyard's fruit is not sourced from Ojai.


If I start a new winery and call it the "Pasadena Winery" even though I am
sourcing my fruit from Rancho Cucamonga is that a problem? What if, say, 100
years from now Pasadena starts growing highly acclaimed wine grapes and the
region surpasses Napa in prestige? Do I have to give up the "Pasadena Winery"
name because my fruit comes not from Pasadena but from Rancho Cucamonga?


This is the same non-issue that exists, IMO, when a restaurant calls
itself "Little Sicily Italian". I don't see why it's a problem.


Dimitri

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Old 29-05-2005, 08:37 PM
Tom S
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"D. Gerasimatos" wrote in message
...
In article ,
Tom S wrote:
IMO if a California wine says "Napa" anywhere on the label, it should be
made from fruit grown in Napa. Period.


Well, it is a brand name. You have to be careful with that. If I start a
new winery and call it the "Pasadena Winery" even though I am
sourcing my fruit from Rancho Cucamonga is that a problem? What if, say,
100
years from now Pasadena starts growing highly acclaimed wine grapes and
the
region surpasses Napa in prestige? Do I have to give up the "Pasadena
Winery"
name because my fruit comes not from Pasadena but from Rancho Cucamonga?


I see your point, which is certainly valid. Actually, it applies to my own
operations! Chteau Burbank doesn't get _any_ fruit from the Burbank area.
It's all from Santa Barbara County at this time, and maybe Napa and Sonoma
(or other) someday as well.

Still, that's not the same thing as misappropriating a prestigious place
name to enhance the cachet of some very inferior crap. If anything, it's
quite the opposite. Also, my bottle is very clearly labeled to indicate the
origin of the fruit.

In the case of Napa Ridge e.g., I'd bet the appellation indicated is
"California". That's as non-specific as it's possible to get and still be
made from California fruit. Typically, that would indicate the San Joaquin
Valley, which is much better suited to growing raisins, almonds and cotton
than grapes for table wine.

Tom S




  #6 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 30-05-2005, 02:04 AM
dick neidich
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Does anyone really think a Federal Court would uphold this. They did not
really need to go this direction. If you believe this is misrepresentation
then consider the fact that the USA along with the WTO worked against
Geographic descriptors for the Old World Geography's.

I am sorry to say in Federal Court I think this would clearly be reversed.



wrote in message
oups.com...
The California state appeals court has ruled that a 2000 California
state law is valid and that California is allowed to have stricter
labeling standards than the federal government. (New story, may require
registration:
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercu...s/11751963.htm)

The federal government began to define the meaning of wine growing
regions, like Napa, Sonoma, Rutherford or Carnos in the 1980s. The
federal rules say you cannot say Napa on the label, unless at least 75%
of the wine is made from grapes grown in Napa. The federal government,
however, made an exception for existing wineries that used a region
name like Napa as part of the winery name. These wineries were
grandfathered in and allowed to use Napa as part of the winery name
even when the wine was not from Napa. This included wineries like Napa
Ridge and Napa Creek.

The Napa Ridge and Napa Creek wine labels are now owned by the Bronco
Wine Company, a big central valley wine producer. Bronco is most widely
known for its deep discount labels, like "Two Buck Chuck", and
apparently sells mostly wine from central valley grapes under the Napa
Ridge and Napa Creek wine labels.

This offended the Napa wine growers, so in 2000 they got the California
state legislature to pass a stricter labeling law to forbid using wine
region names in the winery name unless 75% of the grapes actually came
from that region. Bronco has been fighting this law in court claiming
that California cannot set tighter labeling requirements than the
federal government and that this law violates Bronco's free speech
rights. The appeals court rejected those arguments and said the law was
valid.

Bronco has 90 days to decide if they will appeal to the California
Supreme Court. Meanwhile they are still selling wine under the Napa
Ridge and Napa Creek labels that is not made from Napa grapes.

------------------------------------
Mike's Wine Blog
http://mikeswinecellar.blogspot.com



  #7 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 31-05-2005, 05:01 AM
D. Gerasimatos
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In article ,
Tom S wrote:

I see your point, which is certainly valid. Actually, it applies to my own
operations! Chteau Burbank doesn't get _any_ fruit from the Burbank area.
It's all from Santa Barbara County at this time, and maybe Napa and Sonoma
(or other) someday as well.

Still, that's not the same thing as misappropriating a prestigious place
name to enhance the cachet of some very inferior crap. If anything, it's
quite the opposite. Also, my bottle is very clearly labeled to indicate the
origin of the fruit.



I think it's exactly the same thing.


In the case of Napa Ridge e.g., I'd bet the appellation indicated is
"California". That's as non-specific as it's possible to get and still be
made from California fruit. Typically, that would indicate the San Joaquin
Valley, which is much better suited to growing raisins, almonds and cotton
than grapes for table wine.



Sure, but they aren't claiming it is from the Napa Valley AVA.


Dimitri



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