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Title 27Chapter ISubchapter APart 4 → Subpart C


Title 27: Alcohol, Tobacco Products and Firearms
PART 4—LABELING AND ADVERTISING OF WINE


Subpart C—Standards of Identity for Wine


Contents
§4.20   Application of standards.
§4.21   The standards of identity.
§4.22   Blends, cellar treatment, alteration of class or type.
§4.23   Varietal (grape type) labeling.
§4.24   Generic, semi-generic, and non-generic designations of geographic significance.
§4.25   Appellations of origin.
§4.26   Estate bottled.
§4.27   Vintage wine.
§4.28   Type designations of varietal significance.

§4.20   Application of standards.

The standards of identity for the several classes and types of wine set forth herein shall be applicable to all regulations and permits issued under the act. Whenever any term for which a standard of identity has been established herein is used in any such regulation or permit, such term shall have the meaning assigned to it by such standard of identity.

§4.21   The standards of identity.

Standards of identity for the several classes and types of wine set forth in this part shall be as follows:

(a) Class 1; grape wine—(1) Grape wine is wine produced by the normal alcoholic fermentation of the juice of sound, ripe grapes (including restored or unrestored pure condensed grape must), with or without the addition, after fermentation, of pure condensed grape must, and with or without added grape brandy or alcohol, but without other addition or abstraction except as may occur in cellar treatment: Provided, That the product may be ameliorated before, during or after fermentation by either of the following methods:

(i) By adding, separately or in combination, dry sugar, or such an amount of sugar and water solution as will not increase the volume of the resulting product more than 35 percent; but in no event shall any product so ameliorated have an alcoholic content derived by fermentation, of more than 13 percent by volume, or a natural acid content, if water has been added, of less than 5 parts per thousand, or a total solids content of more than 22 grams per 100 cubic centimeters.

(ii) By adding, separately or in combination, not more than 20 percent by weight of dry sugar, or not more than 10 percent by weight of water.

(iii) In the case of domestic wine, in accordance with 26 U.S.C. 5383.

(iv) The maximum volatile acidity, calculated as acetic acid and exclusive of sulfur dioxide is 0.14 gram per 100 mL (20 °C) for natural red wine and 0.12 gram per 100 mL (20 °C) for other grape wine: Provided, That the maximum volatile acidity for wine produced from unameliorated juice of 28 or more degrees Brix is 0.17 gram per 100 milliliters for red wine and 0.15 gram per 100 milliliters for white wine. Grape wine deriving its characteristic color or lack of color from the presence or absence of the red coloring matter of the skins, juice, or pulp of grapes may be designated as “red wine,” “pink (or rose) wine,” “amber wine,” or “white wine” as the case may be. Any grape wine containing no added grape brandy or alcohol may be further designated as “natural.”

(2) Table wine is grape wine having an alcoholic content not in excess of 14 percent by volume. Such wine may also be designated as “light wine,” “red table wine,” “light white wine,” “sweet table wine,” etc., as the case may be.

(3) Dessert wine is grape wine having an alcoholic content in excess of 14 percent but not in excess of 24 percent by volume. Dessert wine having the taste, aroma and characteristics generally attributed to sherry and an alcoholic content, derived in part from added grape brandy or alcohol, of not less than 17 percent by volume, may be designated as “sherry”. Dessert wines having the taste, aroma and characteristics generally attributed to angelica, madeira, muscatel and port and an alcoholic content, derived in part from added grape brandy or alcohol, of not less than 18 percent by volume, may be designated as “angelica,” “madeira,” “muscatel,” or “port” respectively. Dessert wines having the taste, aroma, and characteristics generally attributed to any of the above products and an alcoholic content, derived in part from added grape brandy or alcohol, in excess of 14 percent by volume but, in the case of sherry, less than 17 percent, or, in other cases, less than 18 percent by volume, may be designated as “light sherry,” “light angelica,” “light madeira,” “light muscatel” or “light port,” respectively.

(b) Class 2; sparkling grape wine. (1) Sparkling grape wine (including “sparkling wine,” “sparkling red wine” and “sparkling white wine”) is grape wine made effervescent with carbon dioxide resulting solely from the fermentation of the wine within a closed container, tank or bottle.

(2) Champagne is a type of sparkling light wine which derives its effervescence solely from the secondary fermentation of the wine within glass containers of not greater than one gallon capacity, and which possesses the taste, aroma, and other characteristics attributed to champagne as made in the champagne district of France.

(3)(i) A sparkling light wine having the taste, aroma, and characteristics generally attributed to champagne but not otherwise conforming to the standard for “champagne” may, in addition to but not in lieu of the class designation “sparkling wine,” be further designated as:

(A) “Champagne style;” or

(B) “Champagne type;” or

(C) “American (or New York State, Napa Valley, etc.) champagne,” along with one of the following terms: “Bulk process,” “fermented outside the bottle,” “secondary fermentation outside the bottle,” “secondary fermentation before bottling,” “not fermented in the bottle,” or “not bottle fermented.” The term “charmat method” or “charmat process” may be used as additional information.

(ii) Labels shall be so designed that all the words in such further designation are readily legible under ordinary conditions and are on a contrasting background. In the case of paragraph (b)(3)(i)(C) of this section, TTB will consider whether the label as a whole provides the consumer with adequate information about the method of production and origin of the wine. TTB will evaluate each label for legibility and clarity, based on such factors as type size and style for all components of the further designation and the optional term “charmat method” or “charmat process,” as well as the contrast between the lettering and its background, and the placement of information on the label.

(iii) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (b)(3)(i)(A), (B) and (C) of this section, the appropriate TTB officer may authorize the use of a term on sparkling wine labels, as an alternative to those terms authorized in paragraph (b)(3)(i) of this section, but not in lieu of the required class designation “sparkling wine,” upon a finding that such term adequately informs the consumer about the method of production of the sparkling wine.

(4) Crackling wine, petillant wine, frizzante wine (including cremant, perlant, reciotto, and other similar wine) is sparkling light wine normally less effervescent than champagne or other similar sparkling wine, but containing sufficient carbon dioxide in solution to produce, upon pouring under normal conditions, after the disappearance of air bubbles, a slow and steady effervescence evidenced by the formation of gas bubbles flowing through the wine. Crackling wine which derives its effervescence from secondary fermentation in containers greater than 1-gallon capacity shall be designated “crackling wine—bulk process,” and the words “bulk process” shall appear in lettering of substantially the same size as the words “crackling wine.”

(c) Class 3; carbonated grape wine. “Carbonated grape wine” (including “carbonated wine,” “carbonated red wine,” and “carbonated white wine”) is grape wine made effervescent with carbon dioxide other than that resulting solely from the secondary fermentation of the wine within a closed container, tank or bottle.

(d) Class 4; citrus wine. (1)(i) Citrus wine or citrus fruit wine is wine produced by the normal alcoholic fermentation of the juice of sound, ripe citrus fruit (including restored or unrestored pure condensed citrus must), with or without the addition, after fermentation, of pure condensed citrus must, and with or without added citrus brandy or alcohol, but without any other addition or abstraction except as may occur in cellar treatment: Provided, That a domestic product may be ameliorated or sweetened in accordance with the provisions of 26 U.S.C. 5384 and any product other than domestic may be ameliorated before, during, or after fermentation by adding, separately or in combination, dry sugar, or such an amount of sugar and water solution as will not increase the volume of the resulting product more than 35 percent, or in the case of products produced from citrus fruit having a normal acidity of 20 parts or more per thousand, not more than 60 percent, but in no event shall any product so ameliorated have an alcoholic content, derived by fermentation, of more than 14 percent by volume, or a natural acid content, if water has been added, of less than 5 parts per thousand, or a total solids content or more than 22 grams per 100 cubic centimeters.

(ii) The maximum volatile acidity, calculated as acetic acid and exclusive of sulfur dioxide, shall not be, for natural citrus wine, more than 0.14 gram, and for other citrus wine, more than 0.12 gram, per 100 milliliters (20 °C.).

(iii) Any citrus wine containing no added brandy or alcohol may be further designated as “natural.”

(2) Citrus table wine or citrus fruit table wine is citrus wine having an alcoholic content not in excess of 14 percent by volume. Such wine may also be designated “light citrus wine,” “light citrus fruit wine,” “light sweet citrus fruit wine,” etc., as the case may be.

(3) Citrus dessert wine or citrus fruit dessert wine is citrus wine having an alcoholic content in excess of 14 percent but not in excess of 24 percent by volume.

(4) Citrus wine derived wholly (except for sugar, water, or added alcohol) from one kind of citrus fruit, shall be designated by the word “wine” qualified by the name of such citrus fruit, e.g., “orange wine,” “grapefruit wine.” Citrus wine not derived wholly from one kind of citrus fruit shall be designated as “citrus wine” or “citrus fruit wine” qualified by a truthful and adequate statement of composition appearing in direct conjunction therewith. Citrus wine rendered effervescent by carbon dioxide resulting solely from the secondary fermentation of the wine within a closed container, tank, or bottle shall be further designated as “sparkling”; and citrus wine rendered effervescent by carbon dioxide otherwise derived shall be further designated as “carbonated.”

(e) Class 5; fruit wine. (1)(i) Fruit wine is wine (other than grape wine or citrus wine) produced by the normal alcoholic fermentation of the juice of sound, ripe fruit (including restored or unrestored pure condensed fruit must), with or without the addition, after fermentation, of pure condensed fruit must, and with or without added fruit brandy or alcohol, but without other addition or abstraction except as may occur in cellar treatment: Provided, That a domestic product may be ameliorated or sweetened in accordance with the provisions of 26 U.S.C. 5384 and any product other than domestic may be ameliorated before, during, or after fermentation by adding, separately or in combination, dry sugar, or such an amount of dry sugar and water solution as will increase the volume of the resulting product, in the case of wines produced from any fruit or berry other than grapes, having a normal acidity of 20 parts or more per thousand, not more than 60 percent, and in the case of other fruit wines, not more than 35%, but in no event shall any product so ameliorated have an alcoholic content, derived by fermentation, of more than 14 percent by volume, or a natural acid content, if water has been added, of less than 5 parts per thousand, or a total solids content of more than 22 grams per 100 cubic centimeters.

(ii) The maximum volatile acidity, calculated as acetic acid and exclusive of sulfur dioxide, shall not be, for natural fruit wine, more than 0.14 gram, and for other fruit wine, more than 0.12 gram, per 100 milliliters (20 °C.).

(iii) Any fruit wine containing no added brandy or alcohol may be further designated as “natural.”

(2) Berry wine is fruit wine produced from berries.

(3) Fruit table wine or berry table wine is fruit or berry wine having an alcoholic content not in excess of 14 percent by volume. Such wine may also be designated “light fruit wine,” or “light berry wine.”

(4) Fruit dessert wine or berry dessert wine is fruit or berry wine having an alcoholic content in excess of 14 percent but not in excess of 24 percent by volume.

(5) Fruit wine derived wholly (except for sugar, water, or added alcohol) from one kind of fruit shall be designated by the word “wine” qualified by the name of such fruit, e.g., “peach wine,” “blackberry wine.” Fruit wine not derived wholly from one kind of fruit shall be designated as “fruit wine” or “berry wine,” as the case may be, qualified by a truthful and adequate statement of composition appearing in direct conjunction therewith. Fruit wines which are derived wholly (except for sugar, water, or added alcohol) from apples or pears may be designated “cider” and “perry,” respectively, and shall be so designated if lacking in vinous taste, aroma, and characteristics. Fruit wine rendered effervescent by carbon dioxide resulting solely from the secondary fermentation of the wine within a closed container, tank, or bottle shall be further designated as “sparkling”; and fruit wine rendered effervescent by carbon dioxide otherwise derived shall be further designated as “carbonated.”

(f) Class 6; wine from other agricultural products. (1)(i) Wine of this class is wine (other than grape wine, citrus wine, or fruit wine) made by the normal alcoholic fermentation of sound fermentable agricultural products, either fresh or dried, or of the restored or unrestored pure condensed must thereof, with the addition before or during fermentation of a volume of water not greater than the minimum necessary to correct natural moisture deficiencies in such products, with or without the addition, after fermentation, of pure condensed must, and with or without added alcohol or such other spirits as will not alter the character of the product, but without other addition or abstraction except as may occur in cellar treatment: Provided, That a domestic product may be ameliorated or sweetened in accordance with part 24, of this chapter, and any product other than domestic may be ameliorated before, during, or after fermentation by adding, separately or in combination, dry sugar or such an amount of sugar and water solution as will not increase the volume of the resulting product more than 35 percent, but in no event shall any product so ameliorated have an alcoholic content, derived by fermentation of more than 14 percent by volume, or a natural acid content, if water has been added, of less than 5 parts per thousand, or a total solids content of more than 22 grams per 100 cubic centimeters.

(ii) The maximum volatile acidity, calculated as acetic acid and exclusive of sulfur dioxide, shall not be, for natural wine of this class, more than 0.14 gram, and for other wine of this class, more than 0.12 gram, per 100 milliliters (20 °C.).

(iii) Wine of this class containing no added alcohol or other spirits may be further designated as “natural”.

(2) Table wine of this class is wine having an alcoholic content not in excess of 14 percent by volume. Such wine may also be designated as “light”.

(3) Dessert wine of this class is wine having an alcoholic content in excess of 14 percent but not in excess of 24 percent by volume.

(4) Raisin wine is wine of this class made from dried grapes.

(5) Sake is wine of this class produced from rice in accordance with the commonly accepted method of manufacture of such product.

(6) Wine of this class derived wholly (except for sugar, water, or added alcohol) from one kind of agricultural product shall except in the case of “sake,” be designated by the word “wine” qualified by the name of such agricultural product, e.g., “honey wine,” “raisin wine,” “dried blackberry wine.” Wine of this class not derived wholly from one kind of agricultural product shall be designated as “wine” qualified by a truthful and adequate statement of composition appearing in direct conjunction therewith. Wine of this class rendered effervescent by carbon dioxide resulting solely from the secondary fermentation of wine within a closed container, tank, or bottle shall be further designated as “sparkling”; and wine of this class rendered effervescent by carbon dioxide otherwise derived shall be further designated as “carbonated.”

(g) Class 7; aperitif wine. (1) Aperitif wine is wine having an alcoholic content of not less than 15 percent by volume, compounded from grape wine containing added brandy or alcohol, flavored with herbs and other natural aromatic flavoring materials, with or without the addition of caramel for coloring purposes, and possessing the taste, aroma, and characteristics generally attributed to aperitif wine and shall be so designated unless designated as “vermouth” under paragraph (g)(2) of this section.

(2) Vermouth is a type of aperitif wine compounded from grape wine, having the taste, aroma, and characteristics generally attributed to vermouth, and shall be so designated.

(h) Class 8; imitation and substandard or other than standard wine. (1) “Imitation wine” shall bear as a part of its designation the word “imitation,” and shall include:

(i) Any wine containing synthetic materials.

(ii) Any wine made from a mixture of water with residue remaining after thorough pressing of grapes, fruit, or other agricultural products.

(iii) Any class or type of wine the taste, aroma, color, or other characteristics of which have been acquired in whole or in part, by treatment with methods or materials of any kind (except as permitted in §4.22(c)(6)), if the taste, aroma, color, or other characteristics of normal wines of such class or type are acquired without such treatment.

(iv) Any wine made from must concentrated at any time to more than 80° (Balling).

(2) “Substandard wine” or “other than standard wine” shall bear as a part of its designation the words “substandard” or “other than standard,” and shall include:

(i) Any wine having a volatile acidity in excess of the maximum prescribed therefor in §§4.20 to 4.25.

(ii) Any wine for which no maximum volatile acidity is prescribed in §§4.20 to 4.25, inclusive, having a volatile acidity, calculated as acetic acid and exclusive of sulfur dioxide, in excess of 0.14 gram per 100 milliliters (20 °C.).

(iii) Any wine for which a standard of identity is prescribed in this §§4.20 to 4.25, inclusive, which, through disease, decomposition, or otherwise, fails to have the composition, color, and clean vinous taste and aroma of normal wines conforming to such standard.

(iv) Any “grape wine” “citrus wine,” “fruit wine,” or “wine from other agricultural products” to which has been added sugar and water solution in an amount which is in excess of the limitations prescribed in the standards of identity for these products, unless, in the case of “citrus wine,” “fruit wine” and “wine from other agricultural products” the normal acidity of the material from which such wine is produced is 20 parts or more per thousand and the volume of the resulting product has not been increased more than 60 percent by such addition.

(i) Class 9; retsina wine. “Retsina wine” is grape table wine fermented or flavored with resin.

Cross Reference: For regulations relating to the use of spirits in wine, see part 24 of this chapter.

[T.D. 6521, 25 FR 13835, Dec. 29, 1960]]

Editorial Note: For Federal Register citations affecting §4.21, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at www.govinfo.gov.

§4.22   Blends, cellar treatment, alteration of class or type.

(a) If the class or type of any wine shall be altered, and if the product as so altered does not fall within any other class or type either specified in §§4.20 through 4.25 or known to the trade, then such wine shall, unless otherwise specified in this section, be designated with a truthful and adequate statement of composition in accordance with §4.34.

(b) Alteration of class or type shall be deemed to result from any of the following occurring before, during, or after production.

(1) Treatment of any class or type of wine with substances foreign to such wine which remain therein: Provided, That the presence in finished wine of not more than 350 parts per million of total sulfur dioxide, or sulphites expressed as sulfur dioxide, shall not be precluded under this paragraph.

(2) Treatment of any class or type of wine with substances not foreign to such wine but which remain therein in larger quantities than are naturally and normally present in other wines of the same class or type not so treated.

(3) Treatment of any class or type of wine with methods or materials of any kind to such an extent or in such manner as to affect the basic composition of the wine so treated by altering any of its characteristic elements.

(4) Blending of wine of one class with wine of another class or the blending of wines of different types within the same class.

(5) Treatment of any class or type of wine for which a standard of identity is prescribed in this subpart with sugar or water in excess of the quantities specifically authorized by such standards:

Provided, That the class or type thereof shall not be deemed to be altered:

(i) Where such wine (other than grape wine) is derived from fruit or other agricultural products having a high normal acidity, if the total solids content is not more than 22 grams per 100 cubic centimeters and the content of natural acid is not less than 7.69 grams per liter, and

(ii) Where such wine is derived exclusively from fruit or other agricultural products the normal acidity of which is 20 parts or more per thousand, if the volume of the resulting product has been increased not more than 60 percent by the addition of sugar and water solution for the sole purpose of correcting natural deficiencies due to such acidity and (except in the case of such wine when produced from fruit or berries other than grapes) there is stated as part of the class and type designation the phrase “Made with over 35 percent sugar solution.”

(c) Nothing in this section shall preclude the treatment of wine of any class or type in the manner hereinafter specified, provided such treatment does not result in the alteration of the class or type of the wine under the provisions of paragraph (b) of this section.

(1) Treatment with filtering equipment, and with fining or sterilizing agents.

(2) Treatment with pasteurization as necessary to perfect the wines to commercial standards in accordance with acceptable cellar practice but only in such a manner and to such an extent as not to change the basic composition of the wine nor to eliminate any of its characteristic elements.

(3) Treatment with refrigeration as necessary to perfect the wine to commercial standards in accordance with acceptable cellar practice but only in such a manner and to such an extent as not to change the basic composition of the wine nor to eliminate any of its characteristic elements.

(4) Treatment with methods and materials to the minimum extent necessary to correct cloudiness, precipitation, or abnormal color, odor, or flavor developing in wine.

(5) Treatment with constituents naturally present in the kind of fruit or other agricultural product from which the wine is produced for the purpose of correcting deficiencies of these constituents, but only to the extent that such constituents would be present in normal wines of the same class or type not so treated.

(6) Treatment of any class or type of wine involving the use of volatile fruit-flavor concentrates in the manner provided in section 5382 of the Internal Revenue Code.

(7) Notwithstanding the provisions of §4.21(b) (1), (2) and (4), (c), (d)(4), (e)(5), and (f)(6) carbon dioxide may be used to maintain counterpressure during the transfer of finished sparkling wines from (i) bulk processing tanks to bottles, or (ii) bottle to bottle: Provided, That the carbon dioxide content of the wine shall not be increased by more than 0.009 gm. per 100 ml. during the transfer operation.

[T.D. 6521, 25 FR 13835, Dec. 29, 1960, as amended by T.D. 6776, 29 FR 16985, Dec. 11, 1964; T.D. 7185, 37 FR 7976, Apr. 22, 1972; T.D. ATF-403, 64 FR 50253, Sept. 16, 1999; T.D. ATF-458, 66 FR 37578, July 19, 2001; T.D. ATF-953, 68 FR 39455, July 2, 2003]

§4.23   Varietal (grape type) labeling.

(a) General. The names of one or more grape varieties may be used as the type designation of a grape wine only if the wine is also labeled with an appellation of origin as defined in §4.25.

(b) One variety. Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, the name of a single grape variety may be used as the type designation if not less than 75 percent of the wine is derived from grapes of that variety, the entire 75 percent of which was grown in the labeled appellation of origin area.

(c) Exceptions. (1) Wine made from any Vitis labrusca variety (exclusive of hybrids with Vitis labrusca parentage) may be labeled with the variety name if:

(i) Not less than 51 percent of the wine is derived from grapes of the named variety;

(ii) The statement “contains not less than 51 percent (name of variety)” is shown on the brand label, back label, or a separate strip label, (except that this statement need not appear if 75 percent or more of the wine is derived from grapes of the named variety); and

(iii) The entire qualifying percentage of the named variety was grown in the labeled appellation of origin area.

(2) Wine made from any variety of any species found by the appropriate TTB officer upon appropriate application to be too strongly flavored at 75 percent minimum varietal content may be labeled with the varietal name if:

(i) Not less than 51 percent of the wine is derived from grapes of that variety;

(ii) The statement “contains not less than 51 percent (name of variety)” is shown on the brand label, back label, or a separate strip label (except that this statement need not appear if 75 percent or more of the wine is derived from grapes of the named variety); and

(iii) The entire qualifying percentage of the named variety was grown in the labeled appellation of origin area.

(d) Two or more varieties. The names of two or more grape varieties may be used as the type designation if:

(1) All of the grapes used to make the wine are of the labeled varieties;

(2) The percentage of the wine derived from each variety is shown on the label (with a tolerance of plus or minus 2 percent); and

(3)(i) If labeled with a multicounty appellation of origin, the percentage of the wine derived from each variety from each county is shown on the label; or

(ii) If labeled with a multistate appellation of origin, the percentage of the wine derived from each variety from each state is shown on the label.

(e) List of approved variety names. Effective February 7, 1996, the name of a grape variety may be used as a type designation for an American wine only if that name has been approved by the Administrator. A list of approved grape variety names appears in subpart J of this part.

[T.D. ATF-370, 61 FR 538, Jan. 8, 1996, as amended by T.D. TTB-91, 76 FR 5476, Feb. 1, 2011]

§4.24   Generic, semi-generic, and non-generic designations of geographic significance.

(a)(1) A name of geographic significance which is also the designation of a class or type of wine, shall be deemed to have become generic only if so found by the Administrator.

(2) Examples of generic names, originally having geographic significance, which are designations for a class or type of wine are: Vermouth, Sake.

(b)(1) A name of geographic significance, which is also the designation of a class or type of wine, shall be deemed to have become semi-generic only if so found by the Administrator. Semi-generic designations may be used to designate wines of an origin other than that indicated by such name only if there appears in direct conjunction therewith an appropriate appellation of origin disclosing the true place of origin of the wine, and if the wine so designated conforms to the standard of identity, if any, for such wine contained in the regulations in this part or, if there be no such standard, to the trade understanding of such class or type. See §24.257(c) of this chapter for exceptions to the Administrator's authority to remove names from paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

(2) Examples of semi-generic names which are also type designations for grape wines are Angelica, Burgundy, Claret, Chablis, Champagne, Chianti, Malaga, Marsala, Madeira, Moselle, Port, Rhine Wine (syn. Hock), Sauterne, Haut Sauterne, Sherry, Tokay.

(c)(1) A name of geographic significance, which has not been found by the Administrator to be generic or semi-generic may be used only to designate wines of the origin indicated by such name, but such name shall not be deemed to be the distinctive designation of a wine unless the Administrator finds that it is known to the consumer and to the trade as the designation of a specific wine of a particular place or region, distinguishable from all other wines.

(2) Examples of nongeneric names which are not distinctive designations of specific grape wines are: American, California, Lake Erie, Napa Valley, New York State, French, Spanish. Additional examples of foreign nongeneric names are listed in subpart C of part 12 of this chapter.

(3) Examples of nongeneric names which are also distinctive designations of specific grape wines are: Bordeaux Blanc, Bordeaux Rouge, Graves, Medoc, Saint-Julien, Chateau Yquem, Chateau Margaux, Chateau Lafite, Pommard, Chambertin, Montrachet, Rhone, Liebfraumilch, Rudesheimer, Forster, Deidesheimer, Schloss Johannisberger, Lagrima, and Lacryma Christi. A list of foreign distinctive designations, as determined by the Administrator, appears in subpart D of part 12 of this chapter.

[T.D. 6521, 25 FR 13835, Dec. 29, 1960, as amended by T.D. ATF-296, 55 FR 17967, Apr. 30, 1990; T.D. ATF-398, 63 FR 44783, Aug. 21, 1998; T.D. ATF-425, 65 FR 11890, 11891, Mar. 7, 2000]

§4.25   Appellations of origin.

(a) Definition—(1) American wine. An American appellation of origin is: (i) The United States; (ii) a State; (iii) two or no more than three States which are all contiguous; (iv) a county (which must be identified with the word “county”, in the same size of type, and in letters as conspicuous as the name of the county); (v) two or no more than three counties in the same State; or (vi) a viticultural area (as defined in paragraph (e) of this section).

(2) Imported wine. An appellation of origin for imported wine is:

(i) A country;

(ii) A state, province, territory, or similar political subdivision of a country equivalent to a state or county;

(iii) Two or no more than three states, provinces, territories, or similar political subdivisions of a country equivalent to a state which are all contiguous; or

(iv) A viticultural area (as defined in paragraph (e) of this section).

(b) Qualification—(1) American wine. An American wine is entitled to an appellation of origin other than a multicounty or multistate appellation, or a viticultural area, if:

(i) At least 75 percent of the wine is derived from fruit or agricultural products grown in the appellation area indicated; (ii) it has been fully finished (except for cellar treatment pursuant to §4.22(c), and blending which does not result in an alteration of class or type under §4.22(b)) in the United States, if labeled “American”; or, if labeled with a State appellation, within the labeled State or an adjacent State; or if labeled with a county appellation, within the State in which the labeled county is located; and (iii) it conforms to the laws and regulations of the named appellation area governing the composition, method of manufacture, and designation of wines made in such place.

(2) Imported wine. An imported wine is entitled to an appellation of origin other than a multistate appellation, or a viticultural area, if:

(i) At least 75 percent of the wine is derived from fruit or agricultural products grown in the area indicated by the appellation of origin; and (ii) The wine conforms to the requirements of the foreign laws and regulations governing the composition, method of production, and designation of wines available for consumption within the country of origin.

(c) Multicounty appellations. An appellation of origin comprising two or no more than three counties in the same State may be used if all of the fruit or other agricultural products were grown in the counties indicated, and the percentage of the wine derived from fruit or other agricultural products grown in each county is shown on the label with a tolerance of plus or minus two percent.

(d) Multistate appellations. (1) American wine. An appellation of origin comprising two or no more than three States which are all contiguous may be used, if:

(i) All of the fruit or other agricultural products were grown in the States indicated, and the percentage of the wine derived from fruit or other agricultural products grown in each State is shown on the label with a tolerance of plus or minus 2 percent;

(ii) The wine has been fully finished (except for cellar treatment pursuant to §4.22(c), and blending that does not result in an alteration of class or type under §4.22(b)) in one of the labeled appellation States; and

(iii) The wine conforms to the laws and regulations governing the composition, method of manufacture, and designation of wines in all of the States listed in the appellation.

(2) Imported wine. An appellation of origin comprising two or no more than three states, provinces, territories, or similar political subdivisions of a country equivalent to a state which are all contiguous may be used if:

(i) All of the fruit or other agricultural products were grown in the states, provinces, territories, or similar political subdivisions of a country equivalent to a state indicated, and the percentage of the wine derived from fruit or other agricultural products grown in each state, province, territory, or political subdivision equivalent to a state is shown on the label with a tolerance of plus or minus 2 percent; and

(ii) The wine conforms to the requirements of the foreign laws and regulations governing the composition, method of production, and designation of wines available for consumption within the country of origin.

(e) Viticultural area—(1) Definition—(i) American wine. A delimited grape-growing region having distinguishing features as described in part 9 of this chapter and a name and a delineated boundary as established in part 9 of this chapter.

(ii) Imported wine. A delimited place or region (other than an appellation defined in paragraph (a)(2)(i), (a)(2)(ii), or (a)(2)(iii)) the boundaries of which have been recognized and defined by the country of origin for use on labels of wine available for consumption within the country of origin.

(2) Establishment of American viticultural areas. A petition for the establishment of an American viticultural area may be made to the Administrator by any interested party, pursuant to part 9 and §70.701(c) of this chapter. The petition must be made in written form and must contain the information specified in §9.12 of this chapter.

(3) Requirements for use. A wine may be labeled with a viticultural area appellation if:

(i) The appellation has been approved under part 9 of this title or by the appropriate foreign government;

(ii) Not less than 85 percent of the wine is derived from grapes grown within the boundaries of the viticultural area;

(iii) In the case of foreign wine, it conforms to the requirements of the foreign laws and regulations governing the composition, method of production, and designation of wines available for consumption within the country of origin; and

(iv) In the case of American wine, it has been fully finished within the State, or one of the States, within which the labeled viticultural area is located (except for cellar treatment pursuant to §4.22(c), and blending which does not result in an alteration of class and type under §4.22(b)).

(4) Overlap viticultural area appellations. An appellation of origin comprised of more than one viticultural area may be used in the case of overlapping viticultural areas if not less than 85 percent of the volume of the wine is derived from grapes grown in the overlapping area.

[T.D. ATF-53, 43 FR 37675, Aug. 23, 1978]

Editorial Note: For Federal Register citations affecting §4.25, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at www.govinfo.gov.

§4.26   Estate bottled.

(a) Conditions for use. The term Estate bottled may be used by a bottling winery on a wine label only if the wine is labeled with a viticultural area appellation of origin and the bottling winery:

(1) Is located in the labeled viticultural area; (2) grew all of the grapes used to make the wine on land owned or controlled by the winery within the boundaries of the labeled viticultural area; (3) crushed the grapes, fermented the resulting must, and finished, aged, and bottled the wine in a continuous process (the wine at no time having left the premises of the bottling winery).

(b) Special rule for cooperatives. Grapes grown by members of a cooperative bottling winery are considered grown by the bottling winery.

(c) Definition of “Controlled”. For purposes of this section, Controlled by refers to property on which the bottling winery has the legal right to perform, and does perform, all of the acts common to viticulture under the terms of a lease or similar agreement of at least 3 years duration.

(d) Use of other terms. No term other than Estate bottled may be used on a label to indicate combined growing and bottling conditions.

[T.D. ATF-53, 43 FR 37676, Aug. 23, 1978, as amended by T.D. ATF-201, 50 FR 12533, Mar. 29, 1985]

§4.27   Vintage wine.

(a) General. Vintage wine is wine labeled with the year of harvest of the grapes and made in accordance with the standards prescribed in classes 1, 2, or 3 of §4.21. The wine must be labeled with an appellation of origin. The appellation must be shown in direct conjunction with the designation required by §4.32(a)(2), in lettering substantially as conspicuous as that designation. In no event may the quantity of wine removed from the producing winery, under labels bearing a vintage date, exceed the volume of vintage wine produced in that winery during the year indicated by the vintage date. The following additional rules apply to vintage labeling:

(1) If an American or imported wine is labeled with a viticultural area appellation of origin (or its foreign equivalent), at least 95 percent of the wine must have been derived from grapes harvested in the labeled calendar year; or

(2) If an American or imported wine is labeled with an appellation of origin other than a viticultural area (or its foreign equivalent), at least 85 percent of the wine must have been derived from grapes harvested in the labeled calendar year.

(b) American wine. A permittee who produced and bottled or packed the wine, or a person other than the producer who repackaged the wine in containers of 5 liters or less may show the year of vintage upon the label if the person possesses appropriate records from the producer substantiating the year of vintage and the appellation of origin; and if the wine is made in compliance with the provisions of paragraph (a) of this section.

(c) Imported wine. Imported wine may bear a vintage date if all of the following conditions are met:

(1) It is made in compliance with the provisions of paragraph (a) of this section;

(2) It is bottled in containers of 5 liters or less prior to importation, or it is bottled in the United States from the original container of the product (showing a vintage date); and

(3) The wine is of the vintage shown, the laws of the country of origin regulate the appearance of vintage dates upon the labels of wine produced for consumption within the country of origin, the wine has been produced in conformity with those laws, and the wine would be entitled to bear the vintage date if it had been sold within the country of origin. The importer of the wine imported in bottles or the domestic bottler of wine imported in bulk and bottled in the United States must be able to demonstrate, upon request by the appropriate TTB officer or a customs officer, that the wine is entitled to be labeled with the vintage date.

[T.D. ATF-53, 43 FR 37676, Aug. 23, 1978, as amended by T.D. ATF-195, 50 FR 763, Jan. 7, 1985; T.D. TTB-45, 71 FR 25752, May 2, 2006; T.D. TTB-105, 77 FR 56541, Sept. 13, 2012; T.D. TTB-145, 81 FR 94196, Dec. 22, 2016]

§4.28   Type designations of varietal significance.

The following are type designations of varietal significance for American wine. These names may be used as type designations for American wines only if the wine is labeled with an appellation of origin as defined in §4.25.

(a) Muscadine. An American wine which derives at least 75 percent of its volume from Muscadinia rotundifolia grapes.

(b) Muscatel. An American wine which derives its predominant taste, aroma, characteristics and at least 75 percent of its volume from any Muscat grape source, and which meets the requirements of §4.21(a)(3).

(c) Muscat or Moscato. An American wine which derives at least 75 percent of its volume from any Muscat grape source.

(d) Scuppernong. An American wine which derives at least 75 percent of its volume from bronze Muscadinia rotundifolia grapes.

(e)(1) Gamay Beaujolais. An American wine which derives at least 75 percent of its volume from Pinot noir grapes, Valdiguié grapes, or a combination of both.

(2) For wines bottled on or after January 1, 1999, and prior to April 9, 2007, the name “Gamay Beaujolais” may be used as a type designation only if there appears in direct conjunction therewith, but on a separate line and separated by the required appellation of origin, the name(s) of the grape variety or varieties used to satisfy the requirements of paragraph (e)(1) of this section. Where two varietal names are listed, they shall appear on the same line, in order of predominance. The appellation of origin shall appear either on a separate line between the name “Gamay Beaujolais” and the grape variety name(s) or on the same line as the grape variety name(s) in a manner that qualifies the grape variety name(s). The following statement shall also appear on the brand or back label: “Gamay Beaujolais is made from at least 75 percent Pinot noir and/or Valdiguié grapes.”

(3) The designation “Gamay Beaujolais” may not be used on labels of American wines bottled on or after April 9, 2007.

[T.D. ATF-370, 61 FR 539, Jan. 8, 1996, as amended by T.D. ATF-388, 62 FR 16490, Apr. 7, 1997; T.D. ATF-388a, 62 FR 33747, June 23, 1997; T.D. TTB-91, 76 FR 5476, Feb. 1, 2011]

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