Brooklyn Journal of Corporate, Financial & Commercial Law


Deborah Soh

First Page



Title 27 of the Code of Federal Regulations governs the standards for the information that is printed on wine bottle labels, including the appellation of origin. Currently, however, wines are exempt from these regulations if they will not be introduced in interstate commerce. There is a proposed amendment to the Code that would bring all wines, regardless of whether they are sold interstate or solely intrastate, under the federal standards for wine labeling. Between the current system, which permits exempt wines to sidestep the regulations, and the proposal, which would exact strict standards of compliance uniformly, lies a middle-ground approach that would apply federal regulation to all wines while also defining the distinction between appellations of origin and identification of grape sources. This compromise is the solution in the best interests of grape growers, who often ship their grapes and grape juice to winemakers across the country; wine producers, whether or not their wines are produced in federally protected viticultural areas; and consumers, whose wine bottle labels will have more precise information about the wine and its grapes.