Younger and newly established wine labels have recently been hit hard by the enforcement of a law concerning the names of wine. A trade pact between the United States and Europe, established to protect the origin of the wine, does not allow American wine labels to use names usually associated with European wines. You see in the old days - and I mean before wines were produced in California old - wine derived its name from the location in which it was made. Champagne was from Champagne, Port was from Portugal, Chianti was from Italy, and Sherry was from Spain. When vintners in America began to use similar techniques and grapes in their wine production, they took the European names and used them on their wine labels.

Following the practice of the trade agreement, all new wine labels from young wineries submitted for review to the US government must follow the rules. This has caused lots of public whining from vintners. Even if they have spent years making a certain varietal of wine, like a Port they can no longer name it a Port. Large, esteemed older wineries are not affected by the law.

Wouldn't it have been cool if the early American winemakers had followed the European technique and named their wine after the location in which it was produced? Wine would be called Napa, Sonoma, and San Luis Obispo!

Source: Press Democrat