SONOMA COUNTY -- A bid to make the Sonoma County name a standard descriptive feature on all wines made from grapes grown in its winegrowing regions, called conjunctive labeling, reached a significant stage today as grower and winery trade groups reached consensus to back state legislation this year to make it happen.
Leaders of Sonoma County Vintners, Sonoma County Winegrape Commission and associations representing 10 of the county's American Viticultural Areas met Tuesday to report on member support for the conjunctive-labeling law, according to the vintners group, which has led the effort started Jan. 20.
Support from the remaining two regional associations came today after an extended deadline for comment.
“These last three months have truly been a collaborative process among all of the vintners and winegrape growers of Sonoma County,” said Honore Comfort, Sonoma County Vintners executive director. “We have listened to concerns and done our best to understand and address them, and while there are vintners and growers who have some concerns, we clearly have the consensus needed to move forward.”
The next step is to have a bill introduced in the Legislature in coming weeks. Local state legislators have told Sonoma County Vintners that broad community support for the measure would be necessary for their support of the bill.
The bill language would be based on conjunctive-labeling laws adopted for Napa Valley, Paso Robles and Lodi. The target effective date is Jan. 1, 2011, with a three-year phase-in period to allow wineries to adjust their labels and related matters.
That would address a concern raised during the comment process about adding additional information to the front bottle label and complicating graphic design, according to the vintners group.