There are currently wineries in all 50 US states. Oklahoma’s total count is at 60. The 2010 grape harvest in Oklahoma was estimated to be 250 tons total, however some 50 tons of that will be left on the vines. To make up for the shortfall in tonnage many of their wineries will be purchasing wine from out of state off the bulk wine market and blending that in with their own wines. This has specific compliance consequences when it comes time to design their labels at bottling.


The label area that is impacted is the appellation of origin. An appellation of origin is not an item required to appear on wine labels, though we may have become rather accustomed to seeing them. In the case of wines made in California we have become accustomed to seeing an american viticultural area, or AVA on them such as Napa Valley or Central Coast. The other option wineries have if they choose to put an appellation on their label is the political subdivision type. These start at the smallest geographical level of county names and from there go up to state names, and then eventually to American at the top.
In the case of the Oklahoma wineries choosing to bring in bulk wine from out of state and blend it in with their own wines before bottling their label appellation options may shrink down dramatically. In order to use a political subdivision type of appellation the blend must contain at least 75% from the named appellation. So a winery that purchases some out of state bulk wine and blends more than 25% of it into a blend they are putting together for bottling would then only qualify for “American” as their appellation on the label.
I did some research into Oklahoma wine labels using the TTB’s public website where anyone can look up labels they have approved for the US’s over 6,000 wineries. The common trend I noticed there was many of them did use “American” as their appellation of origin which does tend to indicate that their blends did not qualify for a more narrow appellation at the county or state level. For anyone interested in viewing the TTB’s public website for certificates of label approval (COLAs) here it is: https://www.ttbonline.gov/colasonline/publicSearchColasBasic.do

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