Did you know that up to 25% of a wine labeled from California may in fact be grapes from overseas?
"The power of the California wine industry has convinced BATF that up to 25 percent of a wine product can be imported and sold as American wine. That’s wrong," writes Harry Cline in Farm Press Blog.
Growers aren't liking it - nor should they.
Cline writes, "Although this year promises to be a good one for wine grapes, there is an uneasy feeling amid the prosperity. Growers have been close to a good year before, only to be left out in the cold by the state’s major wineries going offshore rather than paying California growers fair prices for their grapes." (Bolding mine). Just four wineries crush more than 65% of the grapes."
To be labeled California, 100% of the grapes must come from the state. But outside California, the law is different. Only 75% of the grapes must be from the U.S. Twenty five percent can be imported.
If wine is a food, and we insist that food imports be labeled as to country of origin, why is wine the exception?
NOTE: This article was revised and corrected on April 26, 2013.