New California Law Requiring Use of "Sonoma County" on Wine with Sonoma County AVAs In Effect … Kind Of

January 1, 2011, was the effective date of California Business & Professions Code Section 25246 which mandates that any wine label carrying the name of an AVA located entirely within Sonoma County must also bear the appellation “Sonoma County” on the label in a font no smaller than two millimeters on packages larger than 187 ml, and no smaller than one millimeter on packages of 187 ml or less.  However, even though the law is now officially on the books, it only applies to wine bottled on or after January 1, 2014.  This prospective date was selected in order to give wineries sufficient time to prepare their packaging for the transition.

While this law is based on similar laws for Napa Valley, Paso Robles and Lodi, it differs from those laws in that it does not require that “Sonoma County” be used in close conjunction with the name of the smaller Sonoma County AVA, nor that the label font for the “Sonoma County” appellation be comparable in size to the label font of the smaller AVA.

For the full text of the law, click on the following link:


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