A vintage date on the label indicates the year in which the grapes were harvested. If a vintage date is shown on the label at all, an appellation of origin smaller than a Country must also be shown. If an American or imported wine uses a State or County, or the foreign equivalent, as an appellation origin, 85% of the grapes must be from that year; if a viticultural area or the foreign equivalent is used, the percentage is raised to 95%.
The brand name is used to identify and market a wine. A brand name may not mislead the consumer about the age, identity, origin, or other characteristics of the wine.
Varietal designations are names of the dominant grapes used in the wine. Barbera,Tempranillo, Sangiovese and Petite Sirah are examples of grape varieties. At least 75% of the grapes used to make the wine must be of that variety and be grown in the labeled appellation.
APPELLATION OF ORIGIN:Appellation of origin is another name for the place in which the dominant grapes used in the wine were grown. It can be the name of a Country, State, County or geographic region call a viticultural area, or their foreign equivalents. If any of these appear on the label, at least 75% of the wine is produced from grapes grown in the place named.
HEALTH WARNING STATEMENT:
By law, this statement is required on all alcohol beverages containing 0.5 percent or more alcohol by volume.
VITICULTURAL AREA:An American viticultural area is a defined grape-growing region in the U.S. with geographic features (such as soil and climate) that set it apart from the surrounding areas. A viticultural area appellation on the label indicates that 85% or more of the wine was produced from grapes grown in the named area.
ESTATE BOTTLED:"Estate Bottled" means that 100% of the wine came from grapes grown on land owned or controlled by the winery, which must be located in a viticultural area. The winery must crush and ferment the grapes and finish, age and bottle the wine in a continuous process on their premises. The winery and the vineyard must be in the same viticultural area.
OTHER DESIGNATIONS:Wine labels are not required to bear a varietal designation. Other designations may be used to identify the wine, such as Red Wine, Rose Wine, White Wine, Table Wine (if no more than 14% alcohol by volume) or Dessert Wine (if over 14% alcohol by volume). Some imported wines are designated with a distinctive name which is permissible only on specific wines from a particular place or region within the Country of origin, for example, Asti Spumanti from Italy and Bordeaux from France.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:Pursuant to regulations issued by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a Country of Origin statement is required on containers of imported wines. Acceptable statements include "Product of (insert name of country)" or "Produced in (insert name of Country)".