Education in compliance is still lacking for many who work for wineries. Sometimes this will end up in two common results specific to wine labels. Either they are missing a required item, or they list a word they aren’t allowed to.

In late 2021 the Napa Valley Vintners reached out to our office asking if we would be interested in creating a training on an area that is a key part of their mission, “promoting, protecting and enhancing Napa Valley”. The protecting part of that statement refers in part to the use of Napa or Napa Valley when used on wine labels or in the advertising for wine. The Vintners keep a close eye on all wine labels that are approved by the Alcohol & Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, the TTB, and if they spot any that are in violation of two California laws they spring into action to cut them off at the pass.

Compliance education is always near and dear to us, so naturally we said yes and got to work on creating the online course.

The two California laws, (business and professions code 25240 & 25241) are what the wine labels at issue, or advertising will be in violation of. They cover (1) the use of sub AVAs of Napa Valley on wine labels, and (2) the use of Napa as a brand name or appellation on wine labels or in advertising. The issues? Wine labels are listing Napa in their brand name or other text when the wine doesn’t qualify for it or the wine label lists one of Napa Valley’s 16 sub AVAs without also listing Napa Valley next to it.

The course we created is part of our Winery Compliance Training Academy’s current offerings. The course is titled When does a wine qualify for Napa? In addition to explaining the two California laws the course also covers the federal (TTB) regulations behind the use of listing appellations (AVAs) on wine labels. Like all the WCTA courses it is offered online and students have lifetime access. Full course information and sign-up info can be found here:

Wine Compliance Alliance is glad to partner with the Napa Valley Vintners in ongoing education for the wine industry.

Napa Valley Vintners members are given access to the course at a reduced fee. They can find out the code for that reduced fee by contacting the Vintners.

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