Last week the California Senate voted to give California wines a naming system similar to that protected so vigorously by the French. If passed, bill SB 1380 will allow wines to be named by region as well as by grape and label. This bill applies to wines grown in the regions of Sonoma, Mendocino, Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara. Wines from the Napa Valley region have been named in this way since 2001. In order to qualify for the appellation label, at least 75% of the grapes used in production must come from the labeled region.

The bill passed the Senate on May 11, 2006 and is waiting committee assignment prior to a vote in the state Assembly. If passed, the bill would create a new provision in California’s business and professional code.

Click here to veiw the latest copy of the bill.