Richard Mendelson and John Trinidad Co-Author Chapter for “La vigne, le vin et le droit/Du local au global: Mélanges en l’honneur de Robert Tinlot”

DP&F Of Counsel Richard Mendelson and Partner John Trinidad have co-authored “Recent Challenges to the U.S. Wine Appellation System,” for La vigne, le vin et le droit/Du local au global: Mélanges en l’honneur de Robert Tinlot, a text book published this summer by Mare & Martin, Paris.

Compiled in homage to the revered former Director General of the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV), Robert Tinlot, who passed away in 2017, this 714 page volume consists of 41 chapters written by leaders in the international wine law community.

The contribution from Richard and John provides an overview of the development of the appellation system in the United States and introduces current challenges to the system, including the implications of concurrent state and federal wine labeling regulations and the ongoing debate between wine origin and grape sourcing indicators.

Richard, as a co-founder with Tinlot of the most important international professional organization focusing on the topic of international wine law, the Association Internationale des Juristes du Droit de la Vigne et du Vin (AIDV), established in 1985, notes in his dedication to Tinlot:

Looking back now, 36 years after the AVA system took effect…our appellation system has evolved to include numerous private, non-governmental certifications of viticultural and winemaking practices, and there has been an increased focus by producers, consumers, and wine journalists on varietal specificity in our AVAs which is common in the [French] system.

In this article, John Trinidad and I provide a brief overview of the current U.S. appellation and AVA system and then discuss several important challenges presently facing AVAs in the U.S. I know that Robert would be the first person to jump into the debate, with his keen intellect, his rich historical perspective, and his overarching desire to promote and protect appellations of origin for wine around the world.

Richard and John are part of DPF’s Geographical Indications and Wine Law practice groups and represent clients engaged in the development, promotion, and protection of AVAs.

La vigne, le vin et le droit is available for purchase at Mare & Martin’s website.