Featured Blog

To database or not to database?

In my years of working at several wineries of different sizes, I have had the wonderful opportunity to design, set up and maintain a database tracking software system for several of them. This was a wonderful experience for many reasons, the main one being the satisfaction that comes from assembling an effective system that manages […]

No, it’s not that kind of cola…….

You may have heard of the term “cola” used frequently in the wine industry around wine labels. Perhaps you thought, what does soda have anything to do with wine? Do soda drinkers also tend to be wine enthusiasts? Is is a descriptor term in some way? None of these are the case. The acronym COLA […]

Wine Label 101 Class

Calling all Lovers of Grapes! We’re excited to announce our next education opportunity coming up through Napa Valley Community Education. It is our Wine Label 101 class! This is an extremely informative and interactive class guaranteed to forever change your perspective on wine labels! Make shopping for wine fun and interactive! Ever get overwhelmed when […]

Vineyard Designation on A Wine Label

The next “non-required” item to cover on our list is the use of what are called vineyard designations on wine labels. This is when an actual existing vineyard site/property is named on a label, such as the Rosenblum example here. It lists Monte Rosso Vineyard as the “vineyard designate” of this wine. The TTB requirements […]

Appellation of Origin

Napa Valley, North Coast, Sierra Foothills, Rockpile, Wild Horse Valley…….and the list goes on. What are all of these? As I referred to in my last blog post, they are all established AVAs. (American Viticultural Areas) The item I’m covering in this posting in our ongoing discussion of non-required label items is appellation of origin. […]

Vintage: Next non-required label item

What vintage is that wine? This has long been another way of asking what year (or age) is the wine. Though this is also commonly seen on wine labels it is our second example of an item not required by the TTB to appear. However when wineries do choose to include it the minimum percentage […]

Varietals: a “Non-required” label item

Now that we’ve taken a closer look at the items that are actually required to be on all wine labels, lets go into the next level and review another group: Commonly seen label items. Each of these items we’ll be taking a closer look at are not required to appear on a wine label, however […]

Net Contents

The TTB requires all alcoholic beverages to have a net contents statement. They also require this statement to be in metric amounts, and very specific metric amounts by the container’s volume. For example the most common bottle size we used to seeing holds 750 milliliters, and is required to be identified as that specific metric […]

Sulfite Statement

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 Sulfite Statement The next item in our list of label items is a required one, the sulfite statement. This became a required item on all wine labels on January 9, 1987 for wines containing more than 10 parts per million of sulfur dioxide. This item’s appearance came about in large part […]

Name and address

Our next item is referred to as the Name and address, or bottling statement. This required item can appear on either the front or back label and refers to the details about who either bottled or imported the wine. The TTB’s most specific and bare minimum requirements for it are three items; either the phrase […]

Health Warning Statement

Like so many things, and as the saying often goes, “things used to be a lot simpler.” This applies to even wine labels. So in the interest of protecting the consumer Congress ruled in the requirement of a specific health warning statement to be used on all alcoholic beverages bottled after November 18, 1989. This […]

Alcohol statement

The next item on our list of required label items is the alcohol statement. Ever since the early days of the history of the US the government has seen fit to place a tax on alcohol, at least the start out of it was just until the debt from the revolutionary war was paid off………………so […]

Class & Type…otherwise known as varietal

The next required item I’ll cover is what the TTB calls a wine’s “Class & Type”. There are actually a number of wine classes, of which “Grape” is just one and what most of us are familiar with and fans of. (a couple of examples of other types are fruit wine and honey wine)Then when […]

What’s in a brand name?

There are a total of 9 items required by the TTB (Alcohol & Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau) to appear on all wine labels to be sold for consumption in the U.S. The first item I’ll start with here is the brand name. This is also a common guide used by consumers when they are […]

Wine Label 101

Brand name, vintage, varietal, AVA……………what do all these terms mean and what is their significance on a wine label? Over the course of my next several bloggings I will be going into detail on each of these items and more one by one giving an insider’s perspective on what the actual regulations are that