Vineyards interested in creating compelling and attractive labels for their wines have to jump a few regulatory hurdles to even get to that point. Even seemingly innocuous wording choices on bottles may fall afoul of the laws that govern the industry. Learning about and obliging these rules are steps on the road to effective wine labeling, and brands can't afford to skip them.
Texas grape labeling targeted for changes
A bill making its way through the Texas House of Representatives is designed to legislate the way wineries label their products' regional origins. Bearing in mind that these brands consider their locations to be part of their identities and marketing strategies, the bill has drawn attention from the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association, according to local news outlet KAUZ.
The new law would require Texas wines to be entirely made from grapes grown in the state if they want to use "Texas" as a label identifier. The national standard, enforced by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, calls for 75 percent or more of a wine's grapes to come from its stated state of origin.
The growers group is against the move, with growers explaining to KAUZ that it's common to combine grapes of multiple sources, especially when producing varieties that aren't typically grown in the state. Blue Ostrich Winery's Patrick Whitehead explained that his company is 15 percent Riesling. Those grapes are uncommon in Texas, so the winery imports them from New Mexico. Furthermore, vintners worry that if harsh weather harms a crop, they'll lose the ability to fill in with out-of-state grapes.
No champagne outside of Champagne
Of course, any new wine labeling law will inevitably seem trifling compared to the gold standard in regional requirements – the dictum that U.S. sparkling wines are not champagne, as they do not come from the Champagne region of France. Palate Press recently pointed out that a few American vineyards have been grandfathered in using this word, provided they were already doing so when the law was signed.
The source then added that even among Americans with the ability to print "champagne" on labels, many don't. In fact, many California vineyards are setting up satellite operations to make champagne – in Champagne.
Once vineyards have determined that they are properly using the terms and identifiers on their labels, it's time to maximize the appearance of the labels themselves. Vintners interested in creating attractive labels in-house can turn to the Afinia L801, available in our U.S. store and Canadian store.