Monterey County Conjunctive Labeling

On Friday, February 27, 2015, the members of the Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association elected to pursue Conjunctive Labeling legislation for Monterey County. On August 11, 2015 Governor Jerry Brown signed Bill 394 into action, taking effect January 1, 2019.

WHAT IS CONJUNCTIVE LABELING

  •  Conjunctive Labeling is the labeling of a wine to show both the region and sub-region (AVA) or origin.
  •  All wines that include a Monterey County sub-AVA on the label will also include “Monterey County” or the “Monterey” (AVA) on the label.
  • It is a CA state law, governed as a recording with the Alcohol & Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau (TTB), as well as California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC).

WHY LABEL CONJUNCTIVELY

Consistent representation of Monterey County on labels will:

  • Build brand equity and loyalty for Monterey County wines and grapes.
  • Preserve and strengthen our position in the world wine market.
  • Increase sales of wines produced from Monterey County grapes.
  •  Increase recognition for every AVA within Monterey County, both well known and less familiar, and ensure that consumers understand where they are located.
     

TIMELINE

  • 2015: Approval by State Legislature on August 11, 2015
  • January 1, 2019: Bottles produced on or after required to include Monterey County on label sub-AVA of Monterey County is also included.

 

WHAT THE ACTION WILL MEAN

  • ALL wine labeled with a sub-AVA that is entirely within Monterey County must also include the term “Monterey County” on the label. 
  • Wineries have creative flexibility on the font, size, and location of “Monterey County” within their label design.
  • There is a three year phase-in period, so the labeling law will apply to wines bottles on or after January 1, 2019.
  • The law will be enforced by the ABC.
  • EXEMPTIONS: If the wine includes any of the following on the label, “Monterey County” is not required:
    • “Monterey” (referring to the AVA).  (This provides a choice for wine labels with a sub-AVA within the larger Monterey AVA to label either “Monterey County” or “Monterey” AVA.)
    • “Central Coast”,  “California” or “USA” (or any other geographic area that is larger than Monterey County)
    •  

For more information, please contact:

Kim Stemler, Executive Director
Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association
kim@montereywines.org or 831-375-9400