Consumers Want Accurate Wine Labels

A national survey reveals that most U.S. wine purchasers want “truth-in-labeling” on bottles of wine, with many believing that the name of a wine region should only appear on a bottle’s label if the wine was produced there.

Conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates, the poll found that 79% of consumers want to be protected from deceptive claims on food and beverage labels. More than 60% said they support a law that prohibits vintners from placing misleading labels on wines “because they believe it is the best way to protect the names of wine regions around the world,” the study showed.

Just under 70% of wine consumers between the ages of 18 and 49, the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. wine market, said truth-in-labeling is a strong reason to support a law prohibiting misleading labels.

"The results of this poll show that American wine drinkers increasingly reject the practice of purposeful mislabeling by some U.S. wine producers,” said Center for Wine Origins director Shannon Hunt.

As part of the U.S.-EU Wine Accord from March 2006, a ban was put in place against the introduction into the American marketplace of new labels using any of 17 wine-location names–including Champagne, Port and Sherry–unless the wines were produced in those regions.

Napa Valley and Sonoma County wineries are among the regions that have taken their cases to court to prevent other vintners from using the regional label, unless the wine was grown there. In May 2007, Napa Valley became the first U.S. wine region to be granted Geographic Indication status by the European Union.

The poll was commissioned by the Center for Wine Origins.

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