Wine Appellations of Origin

Wine Appellations of Origin

The TTB.gov Wine Appellations of Origin homepage serves as a virtual warehouse of all U.S. and foreign appellations of origin. The information provided here is as comprehensive as possible based on the information available to us.

Definition

Application

Requirements for Use

When an Appellation of Origin is Required

Type of Appellation of Origin Required

Type Size Requirements

Placement Requirements

 

Authorized Wine Appellations of Origin

 

United States Appellations

Foreign Appellations

These are the approved U.S. viticultural areas identified in 27 CFR part 9, the 50 States, and U.S. counties.

We will update the listing of U.S. viticultural areas whenever we add a new U.S. viticultural area to our regulations.

TTB maintains a list of established AVAs, as well as a listing of AVA petitions that have been accepted as perfected, but for which a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking has yet to publish.

TTB is re-evaluating the means by which we provide information on our website about foreign appellations of origin that fall outside of established international trade agreements. TTB consults with foreign governments to obtain lists of foreign appellations of origin for wine. TTB's regulations require that imported wine labeled with a foreign appellation of origin must conform to the requirements of the foreign laws and regulations governing the composition, method of production, and designation of wines available for consumption within the country of origin. For up-to-date information about wine appellations of origin in a specific country, you should contact the authorities of the appropriate foreign government. If you have any questions about foreign or domestic or appellations of origin you may also contact TTB's International Affairs Division at IAD@ttb.gov or (202) 453-2260.

   

Definition

Under U.S. regulations (specifically 27 CFR 4.25), an appellation of origin is:

  • A country
  • A U.S. state or the foreign equivalent
  • A listing of up to 3 states (multi-state appellation) or the foreign equivalent
  • A U.S. county or the foreign equivalent
  • For U.S. wine, a listing of up to 3 counties (multi-county appellation)
  • A U.S. or foreign government recognized delimited grape-growing area (referred to as a “viticultural area” under U.S. regulations)

Return to Top


Application

  • Appellations of origin are only defined for use on wine
  • All appellations of origin apply to grape wine
  • U.S. or foreign viticultural area appellations of origin apply only to grape wine
  • Country, state (or foreign equivalent), multi-state (or foreign equivalent, such as multi-province), county (or foreign equivalent) or multi-county (U.S. wine only) appellations of origin apply to non-grape wine only if permissible under the laws and regulations of the labeled appellation of origin

Return to Top

Requirements for Use

Whether mandatory or optional, an appellation of origin may be used on a wine label only if:

  • For U.S. Wine:
    • With an “American” (country), state or county appellation of origin:
      1. Not less than 75% of the volume of the wine is derived from grapes (or other agricultural commodity) grown in the labeled appellation of origin
      2. The wine is fully finished (except for cellar treatment and/or blending which does not alter the class and type of the wine) in the labeled appellation of origin EXCEPT THAT in the case of a state appellation of origin, the wine is fully finished (except for cellar treatment and/or blending which does not alter the class and type of the wine) in the labeled state or an adjacent state
      3. The wine conforms to the laws and regulations of the labeled appellation of origin governing the composition, method of production and designation of wine produced in the labeled appellation area

    • With a multi-state appellation of origin comprised of not more than 3 states:
      1. The states are contiguous
        NOTE: Contiguous means that 1) both or all 3 states touch at a common border or 2) in the case of 3 states, all 3 states are in an unbroken line
      2. 100% of the wine is derived from grapes (or other agricultural commodity) grown in the labeled states
      3. The wine is fully finished (except for cellar treatment and/or blending which does not alter the class and type of the wine) in one of the labeled states
      4. The percentage of wine derived from grapes (or other agricultural commodity) grown in each of the labeled states is shown on the label
      5. The wine conforms to the laws and regulations governing the composition, method of production and designation of wine in all the states listed in the appellation

    • With a multi-county appellation of origin comprised of not more than 3 counties:
      1. All of the counties are in the same state
      2. 100% of the wine is derived from grapes (or other agricultural commodity) grown in the labeled counties
      3. The percentage of wine derived from grapes (or other agricultural commodity) grown in each county is shown on the label

    • With a viticultural area appellation of origin:
      1. The labeled area is an American viticultural area approved under U.S. regulations (specifically 27 CFR Part 9)
      2. Not less than 85% of the volume of the wine is derived from grapes grown in the labeled viticultural area
      3. The wine is fully finished (except for cellar treatment and/or blending which does not alter the class and type of the wine) in the state or one of the states where the viticultural area is located
  • For Imported Wine:
    • With a country, foreign equivalent of a state or foreign equivalent of a county appellation of origin:
      1. Not less than 75% of the volume of the wine is derived from grapes (or other agricultural commodity) grown in the labeled appellation of origin
      2. The wine conforms to the requirements of the foreign laws and regulations governing the composition, method of production and designation of wine available within the country of origin
    • With a multi-state appellation of origin comprised of not more than 3 states, provinces, territories, or similar political subdivisions of a country equivalent to a state:
      1. The states are contiguous
        NOTE: Contiguous means that 1) both or all 3 states touch at a common border or 2) in the case of 3 states, all 3 states are in an unbroken line
      2. 100% of the wine is derived from grapes (or other agricultural commodity) grown in the labeled states
      3. The percentage of wine derived from grapes (or other agricultural commodity) grown in each of the labeled states is shown on the label
      4. The wine conforms to the requirements of the foreign laws and regulations governing the composition, method of production and designation of wine available within the country of origin
    • With a Viticultural Area Appellation of Origin:
      1. The labeled area is recognized by the government of the country of origin as a delimited grape-growing/viticultural area
      2. Not less than 85% of the volume of the wine is derived from grapes grown in the labeled viticultural area
      3. The wine conforms to the requirements of the foreign laws and regulations governing the composition, method of production and designation of wine available within the country of origin

Return to Top

When an Appellation of Origin is Required

  • Generally, appellations of origin are only required for grape wine
  • An appellation of origin is required on grape wine when the wine is labeled with:
    • A grape varietal designation
    • One of the following designations AND the wine is NOT from the origin indicated:*

      Angelica (U.S.)
      Burgundy (France)
      Claret (France)
      Chablis (France)
      Champagne (France)
      Chianti (Italy)
      Haut Sauterne (France)
      Hock (Germany)
      Malaga (Spain)
      Marsala (Italy)
      Madeira (Portugal)
      Moselle (France)
      Port (Portugal)
      Rhine Wine (Germany)
      Sauterne (France)
      Sherry (Spain)
      Tokay (Hungary)

*There has been a change relative to the use of all of the above names except Angelica. On March 10, 2006, the U.S. and the European Union (EU) signed an Agreement on Trade in Wine in which the U.S. committed to seek to change the legal status of the above names (with the exception of Angelica which is a U.S. wine and therefore not included in the Agreement) to restrict their use solely to wine originating in the applicable EU member state, except as provided for under a "grandfather" provision. The "grandfather" provision excepts certain non-EU wines labeled with one of the above names (other than Angelica) provided the applicable label was approved on a certificate of label approval (COLA) or certificate of exemption issued before March 10, 2006. The legislative proposal that effected the change in legal status of the names was included in the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 that was enacted on December 20, 2006. (If you would like to read more about this, please see the U.S./EC Wine Agreement page.)

    • A vintage date
    • The phrase “estate bottled”

Return to Top


Type of Appellation of Origin Required

  • Generally, with one exception, any one of the types of appellations (i.e., a country, state, etc.) may be used when an appellation is required. The one exception is wine labeled as “estate bottled,” which must be labeled with a viticultural area.

Return to Top

 

Type Size Requirements

When an appellation of origin is required, the type size requirements are:

  • For containers of 187 ml or less:
    The appellation of origin must be at least 1 mm in size and substantially as conspicuous as the product designation

  • For containers of over 187 ml:
    The appellation of origin must be at least 2 mm in size and substantially as conspicuous as the product designation

Return to Top

 

Placement Requirements

When an appellation of origin is required, it must appear on the same label and in the same view as the product designation

Return to Top

Page last reviewed/updated: 10/05/2016

TTB
No FEAR Act | Disaster Relief | Treas.gov | Inspector General | White House |
USA.gov | Webmaster | Business.USA.gov