New California Wine Labelling Law Approved

Russian River

On Friday, the California Legislature unanimously approved a proposed wine label law for Sonoma County vinters that will require them to put Sonoma County on any label that names a local appellation.

The legislation means that any wine labeled with an American Viticultural Area (AVA) located entirely within Sonoma County — such as Russian River Valley or Dry Creek Valley — must also include the word “Sonoma County” on the label, starting in 2014.

Sonoma has 13 viticultural areas in total and over 250 wineries. Previously California has approved this type of labelling law for Napa Valley, Lodi and Paso Robles. The new labelling format should help the consumer understand where exactly their wine is coming from and improve Sonoma's brand. The Sonoma vintners worked with a bipartisan group of legislators for 10 months to make this work.

It seems like a no brainer. I'm just surprised it took so long for Sonoma to follow the lead of Napa and others. I'll be looking for those new labels in about 5 years.