[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 208 (Thursday, October 27, 2011)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 66625-66629]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-27812]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

27 CFR Part 4

[Docket No. TTB-2011-0002; T.D. TTB-95; Re: Notice No. 116]
RIN 1513-AA42


Approval of Grape Variety Names for American Wines

AGENCY: Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, Treasury.

ACTION: Final rule; Treasury decision.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This document adopts, as a final rule, a proposal to amend the 
Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau regulations by adding a number 
of new names to the list of grape variety names approved for use in 
designating American wines, and to include in the list several separate 
entries for synonyms of existing entries so that readers can more 
readily find them. These amendments will allow bottlers of wine to use 
more grape variety names on wine labels and in wine advertisements.

DATES: Effective Date: This final rule is effective November 28, 2011.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Berry, Alcohol and Tobacco

[[Page 66626]]

Tax and Trade Bureau, Regulations and Rulings Division, P.O. Box 18152, 
Roanoke, VA 24014; telephone 202-453-1039, ext. 275.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

TTB Authority

    Section 105(e) of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (FAA Act), 
27 U.S.C. 205(e), authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to prescribe 
regulations for the labeling of wine, distilled spirits, and malt 
beverages. The FAA Act requires that these regulations, among other 
things, prohibit consumer deception and the use of misleading 
statements on labels, and ensure that labels provide the consumer with 
adequate information as to the identity and quality of the product. The 
Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) administers the 
regulations promulgated under the FAA Act.

Use of Grape Variety Names on Wine Labels

    Part 4 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR part 4) sets forth the 
standards promulgated under the FAA Act for the labeling and 
advertising of wine. Section 4.23 of the TTB regulations (27 CFR 4.23) 
sets forth rules for varietal (grape type) labeling. Paragraph (a) of 
that section sets forth the general rule that the names of one or more 
grape varieties may be used as the type designation of a grape wine 
only if the wine is labeled with an appellation of origin as defined in 
Sec.  4.25 (27 CFR 4.25). Under paragraphs (b) and (c), a wine bottler 
may use the name of a single grape variety on a label as the type 
designation of a wine if not less than 75 percent of the wine (or 51 
percent in certain limited circumstances) is derived from grapes of 
that variety grown in the labeled appellation of origin area. Under 
paragraph (d), a bottler may use two or more grape variety names as the 
type designation of a wine if all the grapes used to make the wine are 
of the labeled varieties and if the percentage of the wine derived from 
each grape variety is shown on the label (and with additional rules in 
the case of multicounty and multistate appellations of origin). 
Paragraph (e) of Sec.  4.23 provides that only a grape variety name 
approved by the TTB Administrator may be used as a type designation for 
an American wine and states that a list of approved grape variety names 
appears in subpart J of part 4.
    Within subpart J of part 4, the list of prime grape variety names 
and their synonyms approved for use as type designations for American 
wines appears in Sec.  4.91 (27 CFR 4.91). Alternative grape variety 
names temporarily authorized for use are listed in Sec.  4.92 (27 CFR 
4.92). Finally, Sec.  4.93 (27 CFR 4.93) sets forth rules for the 
approval of grape variety names.

Approval of Grape Variety Names

    Section 4.93 provides that any interested person may petition the 
Administrator for the approval of a grape variety name and that the 
petition should provide evidence of the following:
     That the new grape variety is accepted;
     That the name for identifying the grape variety is valid;
     That the variety is used or will be used in winemaking; 
and
     That the variety is grown and used in the United States.
    Section 4.93 further provides that documentation submitted with the 
petition may include:
     A reference to the publication of the name of the variety 
in a scientific or professional journal of horticulture or a published 
report by a professional, scientific, or winegrowers' organization;
     A reference to a plant patent, if patented; and
     Information pertaining to the commercial potential of the 
variety, such as the acreage planted and its location or market 
studies.
    Section 4.93 also places certain eligibility restrictions on the 
approval of grape variety names. TTB will not approve a name:
     If it has previously been used for a different grape 
variety;
     If it contains a term or name found to be misleading under 
Sec.  4.39 (27 CFR 4.39); or
     If it contains the term ``Riesling.''
    Typically, if TTB determines that the evidence submitted with a 
petition supports approval of the grape variety name, TTB will send a 
letter of approval to the petitioner advising the petitioner that TTB 
will propose to add the grape variety name to the list of approved 
grape variety names in Sec.  4.91 at a later date. After one or more 
approvals have been issued, a notice of proposed rulemaking will be 
prepared for publication in the Federal Register proposing to add the 
name(s) to the Sec.  4.91 list, with opportunity for public comment. In 
the event that one or more comments or other information demonstrate 
the inappropriateness of an approval action, TTB will determine not to 
add the grape variety name in question to the list and will advise the 
original petitioner that the name is no longer approved.

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    On January 20, 2011, TTB published Notice No. 116 in the Federal 
Register (76 FR 3573) proposing to add a number of grape variety names 
to the list of approved names in Sec.  4.91, either as a grape variety 
not already listed or as a synonym for an existing listed name. Most of 
the name proposals were based on petitions that TTB had received and 
approved, and the evidence that had been submitted in support of each 
petitioned for name is summarized in the preamble to Notice No. 116. 
These names, on which TTB solicited comments, are as follows:

Auxerrois
Biancolella
Black Monukka
Blaufr[auml]nkish
Brianna
Cabernet Diane
Cabernet Dor[eacute]
Canaiolo
Carignan
Corot noir
Crimson Cabernet
Erbaluce
Favorite
Forastera
Freedom
Frontenac
Frontenac gris
Garnacha
Garnacha blanca
Geneva Red 7
Graciano
Grenache blanc
Grenache noir
Gr[uuml]ner Veltliner
Interlaken
La Crescent
Lagrein
Louise Swenson
Lucie Kuhlmann
Mammolo
Marquette
Monastrell
Montepulciano
Negrara
Negro Amaro
Nero d'Avola
Noiret
Peloursin
Petit Bouschet
Petit Manseng
Piquepoul blanc (Picpoul)
Prairie Star
Reliance
Rondinella
Sabrevois
Sagrantino
St. Pepin
St. Vincent
Sauvignon gris
Valiant
Valvin Muscat
Vergennes

[[Page 66627]]

Vermentino
Wine King
Zinthiana
Zweigelt

    TTB also invited comments on three petitioned-for grape names that 
TTB did not approve by letter--Canaiolo Nero, Moscato Greco, and 
Princess. In addition, TTB requested comments on a petition requesting 
that two grape variety names currently listed in Sec.  4.91 as separate 
varieties--Petite Sirah and Durif--be recognized as synonyms. The 
petitions for these grape names are also summarized in the preamble to 
Notice No. 116.
    TTB also proposed to reformat the Sec.  4.91 grape list to include 
separate entries for synonyms of existing entries so that readers can 
more readily find a particular name. When Notice No. 116 was published, 
the list was structured as an alphabetical list of prime grape names, 
with any synonym appearing only in parenthesis after the prime grape 
name. For example, the name ``Black Malvoisie'' was only listed in 
Sec.  4.91 as a synonym after the prime name, ``Cinsaut.'' A reader 
trying to determine if ``Black Malvoisie'' is an approved grape variety 
name might not see it in an alphabetical list that set forth 
``Cinsaut'' at the beginning of the line where the ``Black Malvoisie'' 
synonym appears.
    TTB also believes the current format suggests that synonyms are in 
some way not as valid as grape names as prime names when, in fact, 
every name in Sec.  4.91, whether a prime name or a synonym, is equally 
acceptable for use as a type designation for an American wine. TTB 
therefore proposed in Notice No. 116 to eliminate the word ``prime'' 
from the heading of Sec.  4.91, as well as from the second sentence of 
the introductory text of that section, and to list each synonym in the 
same way as a prime name. As a result, Sec.  4.91 would simply set 
forth a list of grape names that have been approved as type 
designations for American wines, followed, in parentheses, by any 
approved synonyms for that name.
    Finally, TTB proposed to correct a technical error in Sec.  4.91, 
that is, the misspelling of the grape name ``Agawam'' as ``Agwam.'' In 
addition to correcting this error, TTB proposed to allow the use of the 
misspelling ``Agwam'' for a period of one year after publication of the 
final rule so that anyone holding a COLA with the misspelling has 
sufficient time to obtain new labels.

Comments Received

    TTB received 35 comments in response to Notice No. 116, most of 
them generally supportive of the proposed amendments. Of these, 28 
specifically support the proposal to recognize Petite Sirah and Durif 
as synonyms. Many of the latter are identical letters that cite the DNA 
research, summarized in Notice No. 116, of Dr. Carole Meredith at the 
University of California at Davis (UC Davis) into the identity of the 
Petite Sirah grape variety. They also cite as additional evidence two 
publications that recognize the names ``Petite Sirah'' and ``Durif'' as 
synonyms. One commenter expresses concern about new clones being 
required to be marketed as ``Durif,'' a name he notes has little market 
presence. In response to the last comment, TTB notes that the proposal 
to recognize the names as synonymous will not require that clones be 
marketed as ``Durif''; in fact, the reverse is true: The proposal will 
allow growers and vintners to use the names interchangeably.
    TTB received two comments specifically in favor of the proposal to 
recognize Blaufr[auml]nkisch as a synonym for Lemberger/Limberger, both 
commenters stating that they are growers of the variety.
    TTB received a comment from Cornell University objecting to the 
proposed name for the new listing of the grape variety Geneva Red 7, 
which was bred at Cornell. The commenter, a Cornell plant varieties and 
germplasm licensing associate, states that Cornell does not approve of 
the name ``Geneva Red 7,'' but does approve of the name ``Geneva Red.'' 
TTB notes, however, that the name evidence in the petition for Geneva 
Red 7 included bulletins published by Cornell and a page from UC 
Davis's National Grape Registry. Both of these publications use the 
names ``Geneva Red 7'' and ``GR 7''; neither uses the name ``Geneva 
Red.'' Further, TTB did not propose the name ``GR 7'' because it did 
not believe consumers would recognize that name as a grape variety 
name. Although TTB understands the interest of Cornell in the 
determination of what name should be used for a grape variety developed 
under its auspices, Sec.  4.93 requires some evidence to establish the 
validity of the name. Of course, TTB would be willing to reconsider 
this matter following receipt of a petition under Sec.  4.93 with 
appropriate evidence supporting use of the name ``Geneva Red.''
    One comment objects to including in the list grape varieties that 
are not cultivated widely enough for their names to be meaningful to 
consumers. The commenter states that varieties such as Sauvignon gris, 
Valvin Muscat, and Cabernet Diane are recent, only marginally planted 
hybrid varieties that have been given names which will lead the public 
into believing they are Vitis vinifera varieties. This commenter does, 
however, express approval of the listing of Vitis vinifera variety 
names such as Auxerrois or Gr[uuml]ner Veltliner, grapes that the 
commenter describes as widely accepted internationally.
    TTB does not agree with the suggestion that a grape variety must be 
widely cultivated to merit inclusion in the list of approved grape 
names in Sec.  4.91. Section 4.93 merely provides in this regard that 
the variety must be ``grown and used in the United States'' without 
specifying the extent which such growth and use must exist. With regard 
to hybrid varieties, TTB notes that they have a place in the U.S. wine 
industry, are popular in areas of the country where the climate makes 
the cultivation of Vitis vinifera varieties challenging, and are not 
per se outside the scope of approval under Sec.  4.93. TTB therefore 
sees no reason to exclude from Sec.  4.91 hybrid grape variety names 
that otherwise meet the standard for approval under Sec.  4.93.
    Additionally, TTB does not agree that the names Sauvignon gris, 
Valvin Muscat, and Cabernet Diane are misleading. Sauvignon gris, a 
pink-skinned mutation of the Sauvignon blanc variety is, in fact, a 
Vitis vinifera grape. Moreover, TTB notes that Valvin Muscat was 
developed from a crossing of Muscat Ottonel and Muscat du Moulin, while 
Cabernet Diane was bred from a cross of Cabernet Sauvignon and Norton. 
Because these latter grapes were developed from Vitis vinifera 
varieties and share both part of the name and some of the varietal 
characteristics of those grapes, TTB finds that they are not 
misleading.
    Another commenter opined that some of the proposed names seem 
either ``self-indulgent or outright silly for a wine varietal,'' citing 
the name ``Princess'' as an example. TTB notes that Sec.  4.93 does not 
provide for disapproval of a name because it appears to be self-
indulgent or silly. So long as the name is a valid identifier of the 
grape variety, TTB believes that the decision whether to include it on 
a wine label or in a wine advertisement is a subjective matter that is 
best left to the wine industry.
    Finally, one commenter favored recognizing Primitivo as a synonym 
for Zinfandel. Another commenter objected to the varietal (grape type) 
labeling regulations contained in Sec.  4.23, which allow a varietal 
designation on a label if 75 percent (or 51 percent in the case of wine 
made from Vitis labrusca varieties) of the wine is derived from the

[[Page 66628]]

labeled grape variety; this commenter believes these percentages are 
too low and are misleading to consumers. Because neither of these 
issues was raised in Notice No. 116 for public comment, TTB believes 
that it would be inappropriate to include the suggested changes in this 
final rule document.

TTB Finding

    After careful review of the comments discussed above, TTB has 
determined that it is appropriate to adopt the proposed regulatory 
changes contained in Notice No. 116. In addition, TTB notes that with 
the removal of the word ``prime'' from Sec.  4.91, it would also be 
appropriate to remove the word ``prime'' from Sec.  4.92, the list of 
alternative grape variety names temporarily authorized for use. 
Accordingly, this document removes the word ``prime'' wherever it 
appears in Sec.  4.92.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    TTB certifies under the provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility 
Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) that this final rule will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
The decision of a grape grower to petition for a grape variety name 
approval, or the decision of a wine bottler to use an approved name on 
a label or in an advertisement, is entirely at the discretion of the 
grower or bottler. This regulation does not impose any new reporting, 
recordkeeping, or other administrative requirements. Accordingly, a 
regulatory flexibility analysis is not required.

Executive Order 12866

    This final rule is not a significant regulatory action as defined 
by Executive Order 12866. Therefore, it requires no regulatory 
assessment.

Drafting Information

    Jennifer Berry of the Regulations and Rulings Division, Alcohol and 
Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, drafted this document.

List of Subjects in 27 CFR Part 4

    Administrative practice and procedure, Advertising, Customs duties 
and inspection, Imports, Labeling, Packaging and containers, Reporting 
and recordkeeping requirements, Trade practices, Wine.

Amendments to the Regulations

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, TTB amends 27 CFR part 4 
as set forth below:

PART 4--LABELING AND ADVERTISING OF WINE

0
1. The authority citation for 27 CFR part 4 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 27 U.S.C. 205, unless otherwise noted.


0
2. Section 4.91 is amended:
0
a. By removing the word ``prime'' from the section heading and from the 
second sentence of the introductory text;
0
b. By adding the word ``variety'' to the second sentence of the 
introductory text after the second use of ``grape''; and
0
c. In the list of grape variety names following the introductory text, 
by removing the entries for ``Agwam'', ``Carignane'', ``Durif'', 
``Grenache'', ``Limberger (Lemberger)'', ``Malvasia bianca'', and 
``Petite Sirah'' and by adding new entries in alphabetical order to 
read as follows:


Sec.  4.91  List of approved names.

* * * * *
Agawam
* * * * *
Auxerrois
* * * * *
Biancolella
* * * * *
Black Malvoisie (Cinsaut)
Black Monukka
Black Muscat (Muscat Hamburg)
* * * * *
Blaufr[auml]nkish (Lemberger, Limberger)
* * * * *
Brianna
* * * * *
Cabernet Diane
Cabernet Dor[eacute]
* * * * *
Canaiolo (Canaiolo Nero)
Canaiolo Nero (Canaiolo)
* * * * *
Carignan (Carignane)
Carignane (Carignan)
* * * * *
Corot noir
* * * * *
Crimson Cabernet
* * * * *
Durif (Petite Sirah)
* * * * *
Erbaluce
Favorite
* * * * *
Forastera
* * * * *
Freedom
* * * * *
French Colombard (Colombard)
Frontenac
Frontenac gris
* * * * *
Fum[eacute] blanc (Sauvignon blanc)
* * * * *
Garnacha (Grenache, Grenache noir)
Garnacha blanca (Grenache blanc)
* * * * *
Geneva Red 7
* * * * *
Graciano
* * * * *
Grenache (Garnacha, Grenache noir)
Grenache blanc (Garnacha blanca)
Grenache noir (Garnacha, Grenache)
* * * * *
Gr[uuml]ner Veltliner
* * * * *
Interlaken
* * * * *
Island Belle (Campbell Early)
* * * * *
La Crescent
* * * * *
Lagrein
* * * * *
Lemberger (Blaufr[auml]nkish, Limberger)
* * * * *
Limberger (Blaufr[auml]nkisch, Lemberger)
Louise Swenson
Lucie Kuhlmann
* * * * *
Malvasia bianca (Moscato greco)
Mammolo
* * * * *
Marquette
* * * * *
Mataro (Monastrell, Mourv[egrave]dre)
* * * * *
Melon (Melon de Bourgogne)
* * * * *
Monastrell (Mataro, Mourv[egrave]dre)
* * * * *
Montepulciano
* * * * *
Moscato greco (Malvasia bianca)
Mourv[egrave]dre (Mataro, Monastrell)
* * * * *
Muscat Canelli (Muscat blanc)
* * * * *
Negrara
* * * * *
Negro Amaro
Nero d'Avola
* * * * *
Noiret
* * * * *
Peloursin
Petit Bouschet
Petit Manseng
* * * * *
Petite Sirah (Durif)
* * * * *
Picpoul (Piquepoul blanc)
* * * * *
Pinot Grigio (Pinot gris)
* * * * *

[[Page 66629]]

Pinot Meunier (Meunier)
* * * * *
Piquepoul blanc (Picpoul)
Prairie Star
* * * * *
Princess
* * * * *
Refosco (Mondeuse)
* * * * *
Reliance
* * * * *
Rkatsiteli (Rkatziteli)
* * * * *
Rondinella
* * * * *
Sabrevois
* * * * *
Sagrantino
* * * * *
St. Pepin
St. Vincent
* * * * *
Sauvignon gris
* * * * *
Seyval blanc (Seyval)
Shiraz (Syrah)
* * * * *
Trebbiano (Ugni blanc)
* * * * *
Valdepe[ntilde]as (Tempranillo)
* * * * *
Valiant
Valvin Muscat
* * * * *
Vergennes
Vermentino
* * * * *
Vignoles (Ravat 51)
* * * * *
White Riesling (Riesling)
Wine King
* * * * *
Zinthiana
Zweigelt


0
3. Section 4.92 is amended by removing the word ``prime'' or ``Prime'' 
wherever it appears, and by adding new paragraph (d) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  4.92  Alternative names permitted for temporary use.

* * * * *
    (d) Wines bottled prior to October 29, 2012.
    Alternative Name/Name
Agwam--Agawam

    Signed: August 22, 2011.
John J. Manfreda,
Administrator.
    Approved: September 6, 2011.
Timothy E. Skud,
Deputy Assistant Secretary (Tax, Trade, and Tariff Policy).
[FR Doc. 2011-27812 Filed 10-26-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4810-31-P