Last week, TTB issued an industry circular (Industry Circular Number 2017-3) that cancels a declaration requirement with respect to Pinot Noir wines from the Languedoc-Roussillon Region of France. The 2017 industry circular supersedes Industry Circular 2010–5, Pinot Noir from the Languedoc-Roussillon Region of France, which required importers of wines naming Pinot Noir as the single grape varietal an Languedoc-Roussillon as the appellation of origin to obtain a declaration from the Government of France.
Previously, TTB obtained information from French authorities in regard to the investigations of wine producers and merchants in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France who were suspected of selling wine that was labeled as Pinot Noir but did not contain Pinot Noir grapes. The French charged some wine of the producers and merchants with fraud, several of which were convicted. As a result of the French investigations, TTB issued Industry Circular 2010–5 in May 2010. That ciruclar required U.S. importers of bottled or bulk wine with a label naming Pinot Noir as the single grape varietal and an appellation of origin in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France to obtain a declaration from the Government of France stating that:
- The wine was produced from at least the minimum percentage of wine derived from pinot noir grapes as required by French law for the appellation Languedoc-Roussillon;
- The wine was produced from at least the minimum percentage of wine derived from pinot noir grapes grown in the appellation Languedoc-Roussillon as required by French law for using said appellation on the label; and
- The wine otherwise conforms to the requirements of the French laws and regulations governing its composition, method of production, and designation.
France’s General Directorate for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs, and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) told TTB that new regulatory measures were put into place to address the occurrence of such violations going forward. Further, the DGCCRF informed TTB that the appeals process had concluded for those French wine producers and merchants convicted of fraud. As a result, TTB cancelled the declaration requirement instituted by TTB Industry Circular 2010–5. The cancellation is effective immediately.
For more information on wine or alcohol law, or labeling regulations, please contact Lindsey Zahn.
DISCLAIMER: This blog post is for general information purposes only, is not intended to constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship results. Please consult your own attorney for legal advice.