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Category archives for “winemaking terms”

TTB Considers New Grape Varieties for American Wines

February 10th, 2011

 Only a grape variety name approved by the TTB may be used as a varietal “type” designation for American wine.   The TTB is considering adding more than 50 names to their list of approved varietals to catch up with the explosion of U.S. wines made from obscure grape varietals.  The full list of varietals up for public comments is here.

Some of the proposed varietals are not so obscure (e.g. Blaufränkisch, Carignan, Garnacha, Grenache blanc, Grüner Veltliner, Lagrein, Vermentino), but others are extremely unusual, particularly the submissions from the Minnesota Grape Growers (Louise Swenson, Sabrevois, St. Pepin), which highlighted the cold-weather resiliency of the grapes

Imbiblog is published for general informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. Copyright © 2010-2011 · All Rights Reserved ·

Extended Comment Period on TTB Notice 109: Use of Winemaking Terms

January 14th, 2011

The deadline has been extended for comments on the Alcohol Tax and Trade Bureau’s (“TTB”) proposed amendment to regulations regarding common winemaking terms used on wine labels and advertisements.  Written comments are now due by March 4, 2011.  The TTB set out their proposed new regulations in Notice 109, “Use of Various Winemaking Terms on Wine Labels and in Advertisements”, published November 3, 2010 in the Federal Register.  The comment period was extended at the request of Napa Valley Vintners (“NVV”).  NVV has formed a subcommittee to research and survey members on the proposed new regulations. 

There are four main proposals set forth by the TTB in Notice 109.  First, the TTB proposes requiring the use of the terms “estate grown,” “estate,” and “estates” to meet the higher threshold definition it currently ascribes to “estate bottled.”  Second, the TTB proposes codifying its policy of only allowing the terms “proprietor grown” and “vintner grown” if 100% of the grapes used in a wine are grown on vineyards owned or controlled by the bottling winery.  Third, the TTB proposes to codify its current position that “single vineyard” may only be used when 100% of the grapes used in the wine come from one vineyard.  Further, it would extend that reasoning to the terms “single orchard,” “single farm,” and “single ranch.”  Fourth, the TTB is considering codifying definitions for the following terms: “Proprietors Blend,” “Old Vine,” “Barrel Fermented,” “Old Clone,” “Reserve,” “Select Harvest,” “Bottle Aged,” and “Barrel Select.”  The TTB made the proposals in an effort to ensure that consumers are not misled by wine labels and advertising.  Should these changes occur the TTB could revoke its approval of previously approved labels.

The Federal Alcohol Administration Act (“FAA Act”) sets forth the regulations for alcohol labeling and advertisements, including wine.  The TTB is responsible for the administration of the FAA Act and the promulgation of regulations thereunder.  The specific wine labeling and advertising regulations can be found in Title 27 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Imbiblog is published for general informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. Copyright © 2010-2011 · All Rights Reserved ·