Conjunctive Labeling Resources

The MWI Board is exploring the idea of a conjunctive labeling program to improve consumer identification and understanding of the region’s wines. 

Conjunctive Labeling, which has been adopted by nearly all of California's successful wine regions and many of the world's most notable regions, is the requirement that all wines produced in a region include on the label the name of the County (or region, or province) from which the grapes were grown.

At the Economic Summit in summer 2016, wine market researcher Christian Miller asked why Mendocino did not have a conjunctive labeling program given the evidence that such programs work well for wine regions and the appellations within the region.  As a result, MWI Board of Directors began to research and explore a possible Mendocino conjunctive labeling program in earlier this year. Inquiries were made to regions that have adopted CL rules (Napa, Sonoma, Monterey, Paso Robles, and Lodi). In addition the following resources were considered:

MWI continued its fact finding mission on 4/26 with an overview of the recent Monterey Conjunctive Label Program presented from Kim Stemler  from the Monterey group. In many regards Monterey is similar to Mendocino County: a large and diverse AVA with many sub AVAs which specialize in particular varieties. The Santa Lucia Highlands is a premier Pinot Noir growing region with a stellar reputation, similar to our Anderson Valley.

Given the strong evidence that Conjunctive Labeling programs benefit the regions that enact them, a draft proposal for Mendocino County was crafted by MWI. The language, largely based on the successful Monterey program, was designed for simplicity and minimal impact on wineries.

After a series of meetings, the draft proposal was been revised on 6/7/18  and is as follows

WHAT: Any wine labeled with an AVA that is located entirely within Mendocino County or a vineyard designation within Mendocino County, must also include "Mendocino County” on the label.

PLACEMENT: “Mendocino" or "Mendocino County” would be distinctly placed on the front OR back label.
TYPE SIZE: For containers 188 ml. or larger, type size would be 2 mm. or larger. For containers of 187 ml. or less, type size would not be smaller than 1 mm.
OTHER LABELING: Other AVAs, vineyard designations and/or appellations could also appear on the label (as long as the wine is qualified under TTB regulations).
EFFECTIVE DATE: To be determined...

A simple infographic 

(PDF Print Version of Infographic)

During the week of May 21, 2018,  all 550 vineyard and wineries in Mendocino County were invited to regional meetings to discuss the pros and cons of the proposal. That feedback was used to create a second draft of the proposal on 6/6/18.  Additional regional meetings will be held to discuss the concerns of the winegrowing community, and how the conjunctive labeling proposal has changed to address those concerns. 

The proposed timeline has been extended to provide a final proposal by June 1, 2019.

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