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DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
Washington, DC 20226

Industry Circular

Number: 2000-3
Date: October 26, 2000

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Labeling of Wine Specialty Products, Including Flavored Wines

To: Proprietors of Bonded Wine Cellars, Importers and Others Concerned:

Purpose. The purpose of this industry circular is twofold: (1) to announce the publication of the final rule concerning the labeling of flavored wine products and (2) to advise industry members that upon the effective date of the final rule, certificates of label approval that are not in compliance with the regulations will be revoked and must be voluntarily surrendered.

Background. On October 6, 2000, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) published in the Federal Register a final rule concerning the labeling of flavored wine products (T.D. ATF-431). The final regulations, which become effective January 1, 2001, prohibit the use of any varietal designation (e.g., Chardonnay), type designation of varietal significance (e.g., Muscatel), semi-generic geographic type designation (e.g., Chablis), or geographic distinctive designation (e.g., Bordeaux) in statements of composition for flavored wines and other wine specialty products.

The final regulations also provide that references on labels to such designations in the brand name, product name, or fanciful name are limited to standard grape wines, i.e., wines made in accordance with the standards prescribed in classes 1, 2, or 3 of 27 CFR 4.21. In addition, any other use of such designations on other than a standard grape wine is presumed misleading.

Upon the effective date of the final rule, applications for certificates of label approval must be in compliance with the regulations. In accordance with the regulations (27 CFR 13.51 and 13.72(a)(2)), upon the effective date of the final rule certificates of label approval (COLAs) that are not in compliance with the regulations will be revoked by operation of regulation. Certificate holders must voluntarily surrender all certificates that are no longer in compliance and submit applications for new certificates that are in compliance with the new requirements. Industry members are reminded that once revoked, a COLA cannot be used to bottle wine, remove wine from the place where bottled (i.e., from bonded premises), or remove wine from Customs custody (27 CFR 13.73).

Treasury decision ATF-431 is available at ATF's web page at https://www.atf.gov/. If you do not have Internet access, you may contact the Alcohol Labeling and Formulation Division (toll free) at 1-866-927-2533, or you may use their commercial telephone number at 202-927-8140.

Inquiries. Inquiries concerning this circular should refer to its number and be addressed to: Chief, Alcohol Labeling and Formulation Division, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, 650 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20226.

signature
Bradley A. Buckles
Director
 
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