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Wine Label Regulations May Help Clear Up Confusing Terminology

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Wine Label Regulations May Help Clear Up Confusing Terminology

To help clarify potentially confusing terms on wine labels such as "Single Vineyard," "Old Vines," "Estate" and "Reserve," the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Trade Bureau (TTB) may place tighter regulations on vintners.

The TTB has received complaints and requests from both wine drinkers and vintners for approximately five years regarding the terminology found on bottles and advertising materials and last month solicited the public via a notice for its opinion on the matter.

"It's our job to make sure that those labels are not misleading to the consumer," said Tom Hogue, TTB spokesman, in an article for The Wine Spectator. "Our question was, are these terms misleading if there's no set definition of what they mean? So we thought we'd go ahead and ask and see if the public thinks these terms need to be given official meaning."

The terms that the TTB claim have no legal definition or may need a more strict definition include Estate, Estate-Grown, Reserve, Old Vine, Barrel-Fermented, Proprietor's Blend, Single Vineyard, Old Clone, Vineyard Select, Select Harvest, Bottle Aged and Barrel Select.