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TTB Issues New Organic Wine Labeling Policy

The TTB has revised its labeling policy on organic wines. The following is the full TTB Policy

Information Sheet on New Organic Labeling Policies

Through a Memorandum of Understanding between the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), TTB has been charged with implementing the organic program on behalf of AMS/USDA.  TTB would like to notify the industry that AMS, in the interest of clear disclosure to the consumer, has changed the labeling policies for wines which contain both organic and non-organic grapes.

Labeling Wine Containing Organic and Non-Organic Grapes

Wine labeled with a “Made with Organic Ingredients” statement, and which contains organic and non-organic grapes, must indicate the presence of non-organic grapes in the “Made with Organic…” statement on the label.  The following variations to this statement are acceptable:

  • “Made with Organic and Non-Organic Grapes”;
  • “Made with Organic [variety] Grapes and Non-Organic [variety] Grapes”;
  • “Made with _% Organic Grapes and _% Grapes”;
  • “Made with _% Organic [variety] Grapes and _% Non-Organic [variety] Grapes”

In addition, wines restricted to an “Organic Ingredients” statement must indicate the presence of any non-organic grapes in the “Organic Ingredients” Statement.  An example of such a statement is “Ingredients:  Organic Merlot grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, tartaric acid.”  As noted below, such a wine will also have to bear a Percentage statement.

Percentage Statements on Wine Restricted to an “Organic Ingredients” Statement

When a wine is restricted to an “Organic Ingredients” statement and contains non-organic ingredients such as in the example above, a Percentage Statement such as “55% Organic Ingredients” must also be present on the label.  The Percentage Statement must appear on the information panel in proximity to the “Organic Ingredients” Statement.  If a wine bears an “Organic Ingredients” Statement in which no disclosure of non-organic ingredients is made, such as “Ingredients:  Organic Grapes,” then 100% of the ingredients in such wine must be organic.

However, when 100% of the ingredients are organic on a wine restricted to an “Organic Ingredients” statement, a Percentage Statement is prohibited in order to avoid consumer confusion with products meeting the “100% Organic Wine” standard.

Effective:  June 2, 2009