Napa Valley Vintners Files Brief with U.S. Supreme Court To Defend Truth in Labeling
2/14/2005 - St. Helena, Calif. - Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) today filed a brief with the United States Supreme Court to defend its Napa Name law. The document was filed in response to Bronco Wine Company's petition requesting that the U.S. Supreme Court overturn a decision handed down by the California Supreme Court in favor of the NVV.
At issue is whether the state law is preempted by federal law. The California law states that a wine with the word Napa in its brand must have Napa grapes in the bottle. The case was originally heard by the Ninth Circuit Court in San Francisco where three justices sided with Bronco. The NVV and the State appealed that ruling to the California Supreme Court and the Court ruled in favor of the NVV that the state law was not preempted.
"The Napa Valley Vintners remain totally committed to defending our position, the basis of which is simple: Consumers understand that food - and wine in particular - is very much a product of the place where it's grown," says Linda Reiff, executive director
of the Napa Valley Vintners. "Washington apples, Florida oranges, Napa Valley wine -- if you can't rely on a label to clearly tell you where your food, or in this case, wine is from, then you don't know what you are buying. It's a matter of consumer protection. Place names imply unique qualities and characteristics. The bottom line is that a wine label shouldn't suggest the grapes come from Napa unless they really do."
The NVV stands by the ruling of the California Supreme Court that the state law is not preempted by federal law and is ready to defend the law on the remaining three issues with the California Court of Appeal: free speech, interstate commerce, takings. The U.S. Supreme Court will likely decide whether to hear the case within 60 days.
The Napa Valley Vintners is a professional nonprofit trade organization. Its 263 member vintners are committed to the future of Napa Valley through the preservation and enhancement of its land, wine and community.
Contact: CONTACT: Terry Hall Direct: 707-968-4217 firstname.lastname@example.org