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Label Requirements for Winemakers – Coming Soon?

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Even in today’s health conscious world, there are still products that don’t list nutritional information. For the wine industry, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has no regulatory jurisdiction; instead wine falls under the control of the Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). While the TTB encourages wine producers to list nutritional information and ingredients voluntarily on their labels, winemakers are not legally bound to do so.

Could a legal requirement be forthcoming? The (TTB) is currently considering final rules on alcohol labels, including those proposed in 2007 that would make nutritional labels mandatory.

If winemakers are required to report nutritional information on labels, they will face a host of issues. Currently, wine producers must have each label pre-approved by the TTB for every bottle of wine produced. If these companies include nutritional information and ingredients for each vintage and type of wine, they may have to produce significantly more labels as wine can change ingredients and nutritional information from year to year. One possible solution to this problem is to include a website address on each label where consumers are able to access nutritional information – a tactic recently employed by Treasury Wine Estates, a global wine producer.

Berntson Porter is following this legislation and will provide updates as they become available.  For more information on current wine label requirements, visit the TTB online.