'Two-buck Chuck' maker loses CA label dispute

Bronco Wine Co., Ceres, CA, lost an appeal in California state court that would have allowed it to use the word “Napa” on wines that don’t contain grapes from Napa Valley.

The company has now lost three key legal decisions in its quest to market Napa Creek Winery, Napa Ridge and Rutherford Vintners wine brands without using grapes from those areas.

“The whole issue is to reassure consumers that when they see ‘Napa’ on the label, they know they are getting Napa wine in the bottle,” commented Linda Reiff, executive director of Napa Valley Vintners, the region’s trade group.

The dispute traces to a 2000 CA law that requires wineries to use at least 75% of the grapes from a county in a bottle if they are going to use the place name on the label.

Bronco has 90 days to appeal to the CA Supreme Court. The U.S. Supreme Court earlier declined to hear the case. —Arnie Orloski

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