(a) (1) The Legislature finds and declares that for more than a century, Napa Valley and Napa County have been widely recognized for producing grapes and wine of the highest quality. Both consumers and the wine industry understand the name Napa County and the viticultural area appellations of origin contained within Napa County (collectively “Napa appellations”) as denoting that the wine was created with the distinctive grapes grown in Napa County.
(2) The Legislature finds, however, that certain producers are using Napa appellations on labels, on packaging materials, and in advertising for wines that are not made from grapes grown in Napa County, and that consumers are confused and deceived by these practices.
(3) The Legislature further finds that legislation is necessary to eliminate these misleading practices. It is the intent of the Legislature to assure consumers that the wines produced or sold in the state with brand names, packaging materials, or advertising referring to Napa appellations in fact qualify for the Napa County appellation of origin.
(b) No wine produced, bottled, labeled, offered for sale or sold in California shall use, in a brand name or otherwise, on any label, packaging material, or advertising, any of the names of viticultural significance listed in subdivision (c), unless that wine qualifies under Section 4.25a of Title 27 of the Code of Federal Regulations for the appellation of origin Napa County and includes on the label, packaging material, and advertising that appellation or a viticultural area appellation of origin that is located entirely within Napa County, subject to compliance with Section 25240.
Notwithstanding the above, this subdivision shall not grant any labeling, packaging, or advertising rights that are prohibited under federal law or regulations.
(c) The following are names of viticultural significance for purposes of this section:
(2) Any viticultural area appellation of origin established pursuant to Part 9 (commencing with Section 9.1) of Title 27 of the Code of Federal Regulations that is located entirely within Napa County.
(3) Any similar name to those in paragraph (1) or (2) that is likely to cause confusion as to the origin of the wine.
(d) The appellation of origin required by this section shall meet the legibility and size-of-type requirements set forth in either Section 4.38 or Section 4.63 of Title 27 of the Code of Federal Regulations, whichever is applicable.
(e) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), any name of viticultural significance may appear either as part of the address required by Sections 4.35 and 4.62 of Title 27 of the Code of Federal Regulations, if it is also the post office address of the bottling or producing winery or of the permittee responsible for the advertising, or as part of any factual, nonmisleading statement as to the history or location of the winery.
(f) The department may suspend or revoke the license of any person who produces or bottles wine who violates this section. Following notice of violation to the person in possession of the wine and a hearing to be held within 15 days thereafter, if requested by any interested party within five days following the notice, the department may seize wine labeled or packaged in violation of this section regardless of where found, and may dispose of the wine upon order of the department. From the time of notice until the departmental determination, the wine shall not be sold or transferred.
(g) This section applies only to wine which is produced, bottled, or labeled after January 1, 2001.
(Added by Stats. 2000, Ch. 831, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2001.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018