Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

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GregT
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Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#1 Post by GregT » November 21st, 2018, 7:30 pm

Oregon and federal labeling rules state that a wine must be produced in Oregon in order for it to display one of Oregon's viticultural areas on the label. Wines produced in neighboring states may only use the broader Oregon designation.
Not sure how I feel about the decision.

Copper Cane was using grapes from Oregon but trucking them to CA to vinify and bottle.

I think he only referenced the specific Oregon sites on his cases, not on the bottle label. But if the grapes are from those regions, why can't he say so? Whether he made the wine on site or somewhere else, why does that matter? I don't know why it matters that he went to another state because what if his vineyard was on the south border of Oregon and he simply went five miles over into CA? Why would that be bad but if he went to the northern border of Oregon, much farther, it would be OK and he would still qualify?

I get Oregon wanting to protect its image, but really the image is only going to be the brand name. People who buy it are not that likely to care where the grapes came from, just that the wine tastes like the last bottle did. I kind of thought he was silly to ID the source at all, since that's not what his wines were ever about.

https://www.winespectator.com/webfeatur ... ine-Labels
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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#2 Post by Gray G » November 21st, 2018, 7:55 pm

stupid lawyer crap

ridiculousness
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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#3 Post by PeterH » November 21st, 2018, 9:36 pm

Has anyone mentioned that Wagner is trying to overturn the trademark registration of Willamette Valley Vineyards? WVV was established in 1983, the WV AVA in 1984.

I suppose it is irrelevant to the dispute that Copper Cane's wines are absolute dreck.
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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#4 Post by Jim Brennan » November 22nd, 2018, 4:55 am

If only the quality of the wine was evaluated when determining whether the appellation was granted. Think of all the formerly at least good, if not magnificent, wines purchased by alcohol conglomerates and turned into little more than brand names sporting unidentifiable sugar-water dreck!

I just had the experience last night of trying to find a palatable wine at a typical mid-tier restaurant with lots of craft brews and cocktails, but a pedestrian wine list... Lots of the usual suspects that I know are undrinkable, like Meoimi and Duckhorn, so I figured I'd give the Seghesio Zin a try. Nope. Off dry and little if any Zin character. Sold to some bullshit luxury brands company back in 2011. I'd love to have the French approach here where they could be denied the appellation based on being unrepresentative of the appellation. I know that's often used for bad purposes in France, but it could be a godsend here!

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Ohhh..

#5 Post by TomHill » November 22nd, 2018, 9:36 am

PeterH wrote:
November 21st, 2018, 9:36 pm
Has anyone mentioned that Wagner is trying to overturn the trademark registration of Willamette Valley Vineyards? WVV was established in 1983, the WV AVA in 1984.

I suppose it is irrelevant to the dispute that Copper Cane's wines are absolute dreck.
Ohhh...so they've upped their game?? [snort.gif]
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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#6 Post by GregT » November 22nd, 2018, 11:29 am

Must have!

I don't know why he would have bothered in the first place, since he's building a brand name and stating the fruit source would keep him from buying from Oklahoma or wherever else he could get fine Pinot Noir grapes.

That said, if he indeed is using grapes from that appellation, I don't know why the physical location of the wine making matters. He can make dreck in Oregon, California, or Montana, using grapes from just down the street or from anywhere else.
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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#7 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » November 22nd, 2018, 12:14 pm

GregT wrote:
November 21st, 2018, 7:30 pm
Oregon and federal labeling rules state that a wine must be produced in Oregon in order for it to display one of Oregon's viticultural areas on the label. Wines produced in neighboring states may only use the broader Oregon designation.
Not sure how I feel about the decision.

Copper Cane was using grapes from Oregon but trucking them to CA to vinify and bottle.

I think he only referenced the specific Oregon sites on his cases, not on the bottle label. But if the grapes are from those regions, why can't he say so? Whether he made the wine on site or somewhere else, why does that matter? I don't know why it matters that he went to another state because what if his vineyard was on the south border of Oregon and he simply went five miles over into CA? Why would that be bad but if he went to the northern border of Oregon, much farther, it would be OK and he would still qualify?

I get Oregon wanting to protect its image, but really the image is only going to be the brand name. People who buy it are not that likely to care where the grapes came from, just that the wine tastes like the last bottle did. I kind of thought he was silly to ID the source at all, since that's not what his wines were ever about.

https://www.winespectator.com/webfeatur ... ine-Labels
It’s a complicated conversation but one significant issue, in my opinion, is that it takes a tremendous amount of time, energy, and resources to develop a regions reputation. Willamette Valley wineries have spent many, many, many millions of dollars and 50 years developing the industry and region. I don’t believe that a winery in another region should simply walk in and help themselves to the results of that work and then pay their taxes, and contribute to another regions economy.

The consumer will benefit as well, by having wineries that aren’t just moving boxes of crap through the three tier system trying to have crap wines from everywhere.

I don’t feel that I should be able to simply buy fruit from Napa and take advantage of what Joe Wagner and his family spent their time, and lots of money as well, developing Northern California.

In the old days it simply wasn’t feasible to transport the grapes, so this situation was never an issue. But given the situation with Copper Canyon canceling contracts in Southern Oregon right before harvest and hanging multiple farmers out to dry, I believe even more strongly that wine regions best interests are served by wineries invested as completely as possible in the local area.

Feel free to disagree, this is an idea that has a lot of different possible solutions, including those of us consumers(and producers in my case) who dislike the Copper Canyon’s actions to simply choose not to buy any Copper Canyon wines.
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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#8 Post by Andy Steinman » November 22nd, 2018, 1:26 pm

Well said Marcus!
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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#9 Post by Bill H o o p e r » November 22nd, 2018, 1:49 pm

Other countries do this too. You can't buy grapes from Bordeaux and ferment in the Loire if you want to use the Bordeaux AOC.

It's weird though that an Oregon producer can use WA or CA AVAs on the label from purchased grapes. At least I think they can. Probably not much longer.

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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#10 Post by Todd Hamina » November 23rd, 2018, 11:39 pm

No Bill, we cannot use AVA's from another state.
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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#11 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » November 24th, 2018, 4:18 am

If the known rules say you cannot do it, why is there any question of the decision. Seems pretty cut and dried.
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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#12 Post by Bill H o o p e r » November 24th, 2018, 5:51 pm

Todd Hamina wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 11:39 pm
No Bill, we cannot use AVA's from another state.
I haven't looked into it because it doesn't apply to me, but wouldn't an OR producer be barred from using the verbiage 'Produced in bottled by: X' with an Oregon address on the label if that producer bought grapes from WA, even if the fruit comes from the Columbia Valley AVA, which straddles the border (though 3/4 are in WA)? I know that you can't make wine in WA using Willamette Valley on the label.

There is European precedence in regions like the Pfalz (where some vineyards lie across the border in Alsace, but are still part of the German Weinbaugebiet) and Collio where Italy and Slovenia share the DOC.

I know it doesn't apply to the Copper Cane legislation, but it's fuzzy nevertheless.

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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#13 Post by Todd Hamina » November 24th, 2018, 7:04 pm

I make a Sangiovese from Kiona vineyard, Red Mountain AVA, Washington. I can put Kiona vineyard and Washington on the label, but not Red Mountain AVA.
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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#14 Post by Peter Tryba » November 24th, 2018, 9:11 pm

Did everyone miss this part?
The labels listed specific AVAs from Oregon, but the wine is made in California.
No bueno
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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#15 Post by Brian Gilp » November 25th, 2018, 4:00 am

Does it matter where the wines are to be sold? Back in the 1990s I worked at a winery in Indiana that contracted with multiple California vineyards for fruit. They would crush/press there and flash freeze the juice/must and tanker it back to be finished in Indy. The bottles sold out of the winery or in local retail had labels with the AVAs on the labels while the bottles that were shipped to retail out of state all just had USA on the label.

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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#16 Post by Rick Allen » November 25th, 2018, 6:41 am

Brian Gilp wrote:
November 25th, 2018, 4:00 am
Does it matter where the wines are to be sold? Back in the 1990s I worked at a winery in Indiana that contracted with multiple California vineyards for fruit. They would crush/press there and flash freeze the juice/must and tanker it back to be finished in Indy. The bottles sold out of the winery or in local retail had labels with the AVAs on the labels while the bottles that were shipped to retail out of state all just had USA on the label.
This is an interstate commerce issue. If you sell across state lines, you need to follow TTB rules. If you sell the wine only in the state where it's produced you need to follow state laws. Some states have their own label approval rules/process.

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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#17 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » November 25th, 2018, 6:44 am

Peter Tryba wrote:
November 24th, 2018, 9:11 pm
Did everyone miss this part?
The labels listed specific AVAs from Oregon, but the wine is made in California.
No bueno
Exactly. The rules do not allow what they did. If rules such as these get overturned through court action, American AVAs will eventually be meaningless.
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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#18 Post by Mark Christenson » November 25th, 2018, 8:27 am

Isn’t the idea of the AVA designation about where the grapes are grown? Why does location of vinification matter? Seems like ultimate quality of the wine would be impacted more by the method/style of vinification than simply the location of the winery. Unless an AVA specified using only local, wild yeasts or something like that.
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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#19 Post by brigcampbell » November 25th, 2018, 8:36 am

He agreed to change the label AFTER selling the remaining 900K bottles. That's a lot of bad PN.

Contrarian view: a million bottles of PN with Oregon splashed all over the label consumed throughout the US it is good for the overall demand of Oregon wine.

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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#20 Post by Alan Rath » November 25th, 2018, 9:49 am

Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
November 22nd, 2018, 12:14 pm
I don’t feel that I should be able to simply buy fruit from Napa and take advantage of what Joe Wagner and his family spent their time, and lots of money as well, developing Northern California.
I understand where you're coming from; but by this logic, a California restaurant should not be able to serve "Hudson Valley foie gras" (for example), or specialty meats/produce they want to label from anywhere outside their area.
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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#21 Post by Ian H » November 25th, 2018, 10:00 am

I've been out in Oregon for the past several days, visited some wineries and read some articles in the local wine press about this issue. I can't add anything on the legal aspect as not my expertise, but to me it's really bad from on Copper Cane's front on trying to rescind Willamette Valley Vineyard's 40 year old trademark, and also cancelling the contracts on tons and tons of grapes with a bunch of Oregon growers many of whom sound like they will be financially destroyed by it. Just smells really bad and business is business but it's not how people treat each other out here.

Here are some articles I found in the Oregon Wine Press that are worth reading.

https://www.oregonwinepress.com/copper-cane-controversy

https://www.oregonwinepress.com/solidarity-wins

https://www.oregonwinepress.com/joe-wagner-responds
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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#22 Post by Bob Davis » November 25th, 2018, 10:10 am

GregT wrote:
November 22nd, 2018, 11:29 am
Must have!

I don't know why he would have bothered in the first place, since he's building a brand name and stating the fruit source would keep him from buying from Oklahoma or wherever else he could get fine Pinot Noir grapes.

That said, if he indeed is using grapes from that appellation, I don't know why the physical location of the wine making matters. He can make dreck in Oregon, California, or Montana, using grapes from just down the street or from anywhere else.
Pride has the same issue since the property is split between Sonoma and Napa counties. Grapes picked on one side have to be processed there.
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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#23 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » November 25th, 2018, 10:50 am

Alan Rath wrote:
November 25th, 2018, 9:49 am
Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
November 22nd, 2018, 12:14 pm
I don’t feel that I should be able to simply buy fruit from Napa and take advantage of what Joe Wagner and his family spent their time, and lots of money as well, developing Northern California.
I understand where you're coming from; but by this logic, a California restaurant should not be able to serve "Hudson Valley foie gras" (for example), or specialty meats/produce they want to label from anywhere outside their area.
There are no laws against what you are talking about Alan. The AVA regulations prohibit what Marcus is talking about.
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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#24 Post by larry schaffer » November 25th, 2018, 11:07 am

The reality is that lots of Oregon wine grapes are going to be made into wine by those out of the immediate area. This has been done for quite some time and it will most likely increase in activity in the coming years, with more Oregon vineyards being planted with more investment from outside the area.

I understand where Marcus is coming from but I do believe there is a difference between what he saying and what he is most likely meaning but, as usual, I could be wrong . . .

Are you saying that small producers like Adam Lee should not be able to get grapes from Oregon Vineyards? Or Manfred Krqnkl? Or do you just have something against larger wineries?

The bottom line is one must respect where the grapes are grown and not try to fool customers into thinking the wine is something that it is not. That really should be the key issue here.

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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#25 Post by Adam G » November 25th, 2018, 4:46 pm

I'll ask the same questions I asked on FB. Is it more "deceptive" to:
(1) buy grapes from Willamette Valley, make the wine in Napa from 1005 WV Pinot Noir, and sell it labelled as Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
(2) Be located in, say, Napa Valley, make a wine labelled Cabernet Sauvignon, with a Napa Valley AVA designation, but blend in 24.9% Syrah, Merlot, and Suavignon Blanc

To me, #2 is actually deceptive, but completely within the rules while #1 is not deceptive and is somehow against the rules. I guess I just don't understand the rationale for the rules.
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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#26 Post by Todd Hamina » November 25th, 2018, 5:22 pm

Peter Tryba wrote: Did everyone miss this part?
The labels listed specific AVAs from Oregon, but the wine is made in California.
No bueno
We are in agreement.
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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#27 Post by Adam Lee » November 25th, 2018, 5:38 pm

Todd Hamina wrote:
November 25th, 2018, 5:22 pm
Peter Tryba wrote: Did everyone miss this part?
The labels listed specific AVAs from Oregon, but the wine is made in California.
No bueno
We are in agreement.

I didn't think it was on the labels on the bottles -- but on the case boxes and/or marketing materials? I could be wrong.

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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#28 Post by Jim Anderson » November 25th, 2018, 5:48 pm

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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#29 Post by Dan Kravitz » November 25th, 2018, 6:03 pm

I have mixed feelings here. On the one hand, I am a practicing capitalist. On the same hand, I believe in Truth in Labeling. OTOH, cutting corners and extremely wealthy people dishonoring contracts with people for whom the loss of income can be ruinous is not remotely OK.

So let's have Truth in Labeling. Let them bottle the wine, with the following info in large print:

We bought these grapes in Oregon, then trucked them 1000 miles to our huge winery in California, where we promise you they were not mixed with grapes from anyplace else, unlike our California wines which are blended across multiple regions and finished with a lot of residual sugar and packaged in upscale packaging, so that supermarket buyers who know nothing about wine will be impressed, and happy when they get the bottle home because it will taste sweet.

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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#30 Post by TomC » November 26th, 2018, 8:15 am

Adam Lee wrote:
November 25th, 2018, 5:38 pm
Todd Hamina wrote:
November 25th, 2018, 5:22 pm
Peter Tryba wrote: Did everyone miss this part?
The labels listed specific AVAs from Oregon, but the wine is made in California.
No bueno
We are in agreement.

I didn't think it was on the labels on the bottles -- but on the case boxes and/or marketing materials? I could be wrong.

Adam Lee
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It was on the bottle labels.

https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/articl ... 245903.php
"The Elouan wine label presents a different, though similar, set of complications. The 2017 Elouan Pinot Noir carries the Oregon AVA, but the label makes mention of three of the state’s sub-AVAs: Rogue, Umpqua and Willamette — again, as fanciful names.

In order to use any of Oregon’s official vinticulture designations, at least 95 percent of a wine’s grapes have to come from the named region. It would be impossible for at least 95 percent of any wine to come from the Rogue, Umpqua and Willamette Valley AVAs, which do not overlap, simultaneously.

Finally, Oregon state law requires that any Oregon grapes processed outside of the state — trucked down to, say, California — carry only the Oregon AVA, and not a sub-AVA like Willamette Valley. The Elouan and Willametter Journal wines were finished in Rutherford, Calif., according to their back labels, which would further compound the violations surrounding their use of the words Willamette, Rogue and Umpqua."
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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#31 Post by larry schaffer » November 26th, 2018, 8:25 am

Adam G wrote:
November 25th, 2018, 4:46 pm
I'll ask the same questions I asked on FB. Is it more "deceptive" to:
(1) buy grapes from Willamette Valley, make the wine in Napa from 1005 WV Pinot Noir, and sell it labelled as Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
(2) Be located in, say, Napa Valley, make a wine labelled Cabernet Sauvignon, with a Napa Valley AVA designation, but blend in 24.9% Syrah, Merlot, and Suavignon Blanc

To me, #2 is actually deceptive, but completely within the rules while #1 is not deceptive and is somehow against the rules. I guess I just don't understand the rationale for the rules.
Adam,

Good point - and yep, it was a good point when you made it on FB as well [snort.gif]

I actually have no problem with either of these as neither is really 'deceptive' to me.

No. 1 - as long as you are accurately stated where the grapes came from and there is no 'confusion' about that, there should not be a problem with doing so. There are plenty of folks who purchase grapes 'across borders' and produce them elsewhere.

Heck, if you really want to get into this and if folks figure (1) is deceptive - what about folks who purchase Sta Rita Hills grapes and produce them in Sonoma? Or purchase Napa grapes and produce them in SB County? Is that more or less 'deceptive' than (1) stated above?

As far as (2) goes, this is what is allowed under the law. I agree that it allows a lot of potential 'fudging' when it comes to what is actually inside a wine, but the majority of folks do not seem to care - to them, the end seems to justify the mean.

What gets me with no.2 is the deceptiveness of the wineries themselves. Many 'paint a picture' of a certain scenario which just isn't true - and this happens at all levels / price points, not just the big guys . . .

Cheers!
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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#32 Post by Adam Lee » November 26th, 2018, 9:56 am

Thanks Tom. That seems to be new with the 2017 vintage. I found the back label here: https://www.google.com/search?q=2017+el ... THgWPzqeGM:

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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#33 Post by John Peacock » November 26th, 2018, 10:41 am

Bill H o o p e r wrote:
November 24th, 2018, 5:51 pm
Todd Hamina wrote:
November 23rd, 2018, 11:39 pm
No Bill, we cannot use AVA's from another state.
I haven't looked into it because it doesn't apply to me, but wouldn't an OR producer be barred from using the verbiage 'Produced in bottled by: X' with an Oregon address on the label if that producer bought grapes from WA, even if the fruit comes from the Columbia Valley AVA, which straddles the border (though 3/4 are in WA)? I know that you can't make wine in WA using Willamette Valley on the label.

There is European precedence in regions like the Pfalz (where some vineyards lie across the border in Alsace, but are still part of the German Weinbaugebiet) and Collio where Italy and Slovenia share the DOC.

I know it doesn't apply to the Copper Cane legislation, but it's fuzzy nevertheless.

Cheers,
Bill
Bill,

In order to use an AVA name on a label, the wine must be produced in the same state as the AVA. For AVAs that cross state lines, then the wine can be produced in either state and be labeled with the AVA name. For your Columbia Valley AVA example, wine made in either WA or OR can have that on that label. As a (now) OR (formerly WA) winery, I can no longer use Snipes Mountain or Yakima Valley AVAs on my bottles, as those AVAs are entirely in just WA. This is also the same reason that WA wineries cannot use The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater on their labels, as that AVA is entirely in OR.
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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#34 Post by Bill H o o p e r » November 26th, 2018, 9:44 pm

Thanks John,

I do think its crazy that you can use the very specific vineyard name, but the less-specific AVA name is barred for interstate wines.

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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#35 Post by Bryan Carr » November 27th, 2018, 9:57 am

Somehow I have a feeling many would feel differently about this issue if this wasn't a crappy macro winery that we all hate. The way I see it, from a consumer perspective this can either be meant to imply that:
a) winemaking facilities have terroir too, or
b) that AVAs are only a regional marketing and protectionism tool rather than a coherent system of site classifications based on terroir

I understand that at their base AVAs ARE marketing tools, but making it so plain does take a bit of the shine off of it for me.

I get Marcus' point that from an industry and regional development perspective taking grapes from one region and vinifying them and taking the profits in another is harmful to those producers that have worked hard to build the source region's infrastructure and reputation (to say nothing of what the Wagners are doing to WVV and their Oregon suppliers), however as a wine consumer, vineyard site and how the wine is made is what is important to me, with a secondary consideration possibly to if the producer is someone I feel like I can support (good to their employees, not a creep, etc.). I don't see how this helps consumers at all. I could see if someone was lying about where the grapes came from, but if they're not?
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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#36 Post by Bryan Carr » November 27th, 2018, 11:04 am

Also, I feel like I should say, that as someone who has made a lot of friends and friendly acquaintances in the wine (drinking, retailing, making, distributing, geek) community here in the Northwest, I totally get the feeling of solidarity and camaraderie that comes from feeling like you're part of a community of people all working together, and I bet the feeling of an outsider that doesn't participate in that reaping some of the benefits of it is galling.
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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#37 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » November 27th, 2018, 2:33 pm

Adam G wrote:
November 25th, 2018, 4:46 pm
I'll ask the same questions I asked on FB. Is it more "deceptive" to:
(1) buy grapes from Willamette Valley, make the wine in Napa from 1005 WV Pinot Noir, and sell it labelled as Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
(2) Be located in, say, Napa Valley, make a wine labelled Cabernet Sauvignon, with a Napa Valley AVA designation, but blend in 24.9% Syrah, Merlot, and Suavignon Blanc

To me, #2 is actually deceptive, but completely within the rules while #1 is not deceptive and is somehow against the rules. I guess I just don't understand the rationale for the rules.
To me both are pretty deceptive when the labels are not the wineries standard labels.

i.e. if the Wagner bottles said Caymus Napa-Made Southern Oregon Pinot Noir then I would suggest it’s less deceptive than a very-well known (massive understatement) winery creating a completely disconnected brand to do this.
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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#38 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » November 27th, 2018, 2:59 pm

Bryan Carr wrote:
November 27th, 2018, 9:57 am
Somehow I have a feeling many would feel differently about this issue if this wasn't a crappy macro winery that we all hate. The way I see it, from a consumer perspective this can either be meant to imply that:
a) winemaking facilities have terroir too, or
b) that AVAs are only a regional marketing and protectionism tool rather than a coherent system of site classifications based on terroir

I understand that at their base AVAs ARE marketing tools, but making it so plain does take a bit of the shine off of it for me.

I get Marcus' point that from an industry and regional development perspective taking grapes from one region and vinifying them and taking the profits in another is harmful to those producers that have worked hard to build the source region's infrastructure and reputation (to say nothing of what the Wagners are doing to WVV and their Oregon suppliers), however as a wine consumer, vineyard site and how the wine is made is what is important to me, with a secondary consideration possibly to if the producer is someone I feel like I can support (good to their employees, not a creep, etc.). I don't see how this helps consumers at all. I could see if someone was lying about where the grapes came from, but if they're not?
Hi Bryan,

I would offer that the AVAs function as a form of “patent” with TTB as the role of Patent Office. It’s not protectionism to hoard prosperity for Oregon wineries, it’s to stop disingenuous companies from putting out shady plonk with names like Willametter Journal.
Take a moment to google the Willametter Journal wine, and read the label prose. The “Willamette region” is not an AVA, but it certainly implies that the fruit would be of a similar nature to, Dom Drouhin, Patricia Green(Hirsch bottling excepted), and my own wines. My understanding is that a significant percentage of the fruit for that wine was from southern Oregon and not the WV AVA.
The consumer benefits from having laws requiring a winery using Oregon AVAs to produce the wine in Oregon, if only to reduce the likelihood that they will buy a bottle of wine where the place is implied rather than actually used.

Terroir is part of the individual nature of wine production, and things like the ambient temperature of the production facility should mark the nature of the wines(not really likely for a wine like Elouan). Marketing terroir is part of how growers in a region work together to market their wines, and in the Valley we all care very much about our fellow wineries success. My competitors success is my success as well. A long time ago, the founders of wine growing in the valley put forward the idea that Pinot Noir in the Willamette Valley was special. A ton of us have bought in to that and finally after 50 years there is an understanding both with consumers and critics that the Willamette Valley is special. So suddenly having “crappy macro-wineries”, and story telling twits like Tarlov as well, showing up does get under the skin. It’s all part of the deal, but in most industries plagiarism like Joe Wagner’s would be a lawsuit on the spot(and there is a reason why he lost).

Rant over...at some point I need to just post TNs for a couple of months of penance...
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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#39 Post by Matt Mauldin » November 27th, 2018, 9:43 pm

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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#40 Post by John Peacock » November 28th, 2018, 9:00 am

Wagner knew the labeling laws, and tried to creatively get around them. If a small time producer like myself can take the time to learn the rules and abide by them, then he can certainly hire a team of people to know what is/isn't allowed. He probably then had that team try and find ways around it.
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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#41 Post by Bryan Carr » November 28th, 2018, 9:24 am

Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
November 27th, 2018, 2:59 pm
Hi Bryan,

I would offer that the AVAs function as a form of “patent” with TTB as the role of Patent Office. It’s not protectionism to hoard prosperity for Oregon wineries, it’s to stop disingenuous companies from putting out shady plonk with names like Willametter Journal.
Take a moment to google the Willametter Journal wine, and read the label prose. The “Willamette region” is not an AVA, but it certainly implies that the fruit would be of a similar nature to, Dom Drouhin, Patricia Green(Hirsch bottling excepted), and my own wines. My understanding is that a significant percentage of the fruit for that wine was from southern Oregon and not the WV AVA.
The consumer benefits from having laws requiring a winery using Oregon AVAs to produce the wine in Oregon, if only to reduce the likelihood that they will buy a bottle of wine where the place is implied rather than actually used.

Terroir is part of the individual nature of wine production, and things like the ambient temperature of the production facility should mark the nature of the wines(not really likely for a wine like Elouan). Marketing terroir is part of how growers in a region work together to market their wines, and in the Valley we all care very much about our fellow wineries success. My competitors success is my success as well. A long time ago, the founders of wine growing in the valley put forward the idea that Pinot Noir in the Willamette Valley was special. A ton of us have bought in to that and finally after 50 years there is an understanding both with consumers and critics that the Willamette Valley is special. So suddenly having “crappy macro-wineries”, and story telling twits like Tarlov as well, showing up does get under the skin. It’s all part of the deal, but in most industries plagiarism like Joe Wagner’s would be a lawsuit on the spot(and there is a reason why he lost).

Rant over...at some point I need to just post TNs for a couple of months of penance...
Hi Marcus,

Thanks for the thoughtful response and that totally makes sense re: Willametter Journal and "the Willamette region" as an implication. If that's not whats in the bottle, then it's super disingenuous to imply it and I'm with you 100%.

Like I said, I DEFINITELY understand regional and industry solidarity, everyone wins when you're in it together. I still think, from a consumer perspective, that if what's in the bottle is 100% Willamette Valley fruit it should be able to be labeled as such however, but that's not really what this Wagner thing is about.
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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#42 Post by Jim Anderson » November 28th, 2018, 9:35 am

Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
November 27th, 2018, 2:59 pm
Bryan Carr wrote:
November 27th, 2018, 9:57 am
Somehow I have a feeling many would feel differently about this issue if this wasn't a crappy macro winery that we all hate. The way I see it, from a consumer perspective this can either be meant to imply that:
a) winemaking facilities have terroir too, or
b) that AVAs are only a regional marketing and protectionism tool rather than a coherent system of site classifications based on terroir

I understand that at their base AVAs ARE marketing tools, but making it so plain does take a bit of the shine off of it for me.

I get Marcus' point that from an industry and regional development perspective taking grapes from one region and vinifying them and taking the profits in another is harmful to those producers that have worked hard to build the source region's infrastructure and reputation (to say nothing of what the Wagners are doing to WVV and their Oregon suppliers), however as a wine consumer, vineyard site and how the wine is made is what is important to me, with a secondary consideration possibly to if the producer is someone I feel like I can support (good to their employees, not a creep, etc.). I don't see how this helps consumers at all. I could see if someone was lying about where the grapes came from, but if they're not?
Hi Bryan,

I would offer that the AVAs function as a form of “patent” with TTB as the role of Patent Office. It’s not protectionism to hoard prosperity for Oregon wineries, it’s to stop disingenuous companies from putting out shady plonk with names like Willametter Journal.
Take a moment to google the Willametter Journal wine, and read the label prose. The “Willamette region” is not an AVA, but it certainly implies that the fruit would be of a similar nature to, Dom Drouhin, Patricia Green(Hirsch bottling excepted), and my own wines. My understanding is that a significant percentage of the fruit for that wine was from southern Oregon and not the WV AVA.
The consumer benefits from having laws requiring a winery using Oregon AVAs to produce the wine in Oregon, if only to reduce the likelihood that they will buy a bottle of wine where the place is implied rather than actually used.

Terroir is part of the individual nature of wine production, and things like the ambient temperature of the production facility should mark the nature of the wines(not really likely for a wine like Elouan). Marketing terroir is part of how growers in a region work together to market their wines, and in the Valley we all care very much about our fellow wineries success. My competitors success is my success as well. A long time ago, the founders of wine growing in the valley put forward the idea that Pinot Noir in the Willamette Valley was special. A ton of us have bought in to that and finally after 50 years there is an understanding both with consumers and critics that the Willamette Valley is special. So suddenly having “crappy macro-wineries”, and story telling twits like Tarlov as well, showing up does get under the skin. It’s all part of the deal, but in most industries plagiarism like Joe Wagner’s would be a lawsuit on the spot(and there is a reason why he lost).

Rant over...at some point I need to just post TNs for a couple of months of penance...
Feel free to keep ranting on this topic.
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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#43 Post by Alan Rath » November 28th, 2018, 9:43 am

I think it's a shame that there are rules at all - except for truth in labeling. If someone wants to buy (or farm) a vineyard, and truck the fruit into a remote winery to make the wine, so what? California producers do it all the time, with fruit coming from hundreds of miles away. I don't see that a state line makes any difference.
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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#44 Post by dougwilder » November 28th, 2018, 10:09 am

Alan Rath wrote:
November 25th, 2018, 9:49 am
Marcus Goodfellow wrote:
November 22nd, 2018, 12:14 pm
I don’t feel that I should be able to simply buy fruit from Napa and take advantage of what Joe Wagner and his family spent their time, and lots of money as well, developing Northern California.
I understand where you're coming from; but by this logic, a California restaurant should not be able to serve "Hudson Valley foie gras" (for example), or specialty meats/produce they want to label from anywhere outside their area.
I think this would only be equivalent if the geese were transported from Hudson Valley and the livers extracted in California.
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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#45 Post by Alan Rath » November 28th, 2018, 10:13 am

dougwilder wrote:
November 28th, 2018, 10:09 am
Alan Rath wrote:
November 25th, 2018, 9:49 am
I understand where you're coming from; but by this logic, a California restaurant should not be able to serve "Hudson Valley foie gras" (for example), or specialty meats/produce they want to label from anywhere outside their area.
I think this would only be equivalent if the geese were transported from Hudson Valley and the livers extracted in California.
Would there be anything wrong with that, as long as the marketing and labeling is reflected properly?
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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#46 Post by Patrick Duffy » November 29th, 2018, 3:17 pm

Not a lawyer and certainly not an expert on AVA labelling regulations. But I do have a MBA from a "well known eastern business school." A few opinions:

1. The problem isn't that he labeled the bottle as containing grapes coming from Oregon. The problem is that he clearly wanted people to think that they came from specific AVA's in Oregon, when they did not. This is deceptive at best and illegal at worst. He clearly crossed a line and he has now officially been told that his labeling does not meet the requirements of the federal and state regulations.
2. He can talk about how the laws and regulations in this area are nonsense, etc. but they are what they are. You do not get to break the law (and his doing so was clearly with deceptive intent and not noble protest) and then claim that it was okay because you don't like the law. Change the law and label in compliance with the new law. It's not like he's 'just protecting the consumer' somehow by labeling his product the way he did.
3. Now that the feds and state have told him that he can't sell bottles with the labels he's been using, how many bottles does he have that have to be relabeled? Doesn't he have to take back and relabel any bottles that have not yet been sold to final consumers by wholesalers, retailers and restaurants? If it's illegal for him to sell bottles with deceptive labeling, it must also be illegal for retailers, et al. to do so, particularly now that the authorities have made their decision.
4. He refused to accept grapes from growers that he said may have smoke taint. He did so apparently without actually testing any of the grapes and he did so the week of harvest. I'd be curious about his contract with the growers. Certainly, if I'm a grower, I'm going to insist on a 'take or pay' clause if I'm committing to sell him all of my grapes. However, where is he going to get Oregon pinot grapes for the 2018 vintage? His pulling this on the growers really seems like a way of saying "I'm not making Oregon pinot anymore. Thanks for the money, suckers." He doesn't have any apparent alternative source of Oregon pinot grapes for this vintage and it takes a heck of a pile of grapes to make 1.4 million bottles. AND what grower would be willing to contract with him for any future year? Having welshed on me and/or other growers for 2018, I'd be crazy, if I were a grower, to deal with him on any terms.
5. It has been my experience that grapes that are shipped significant distances to the winery after harvest do not produce very good to great wine. So, yes, taking the grapes to California does make a difference in the quality of the product. You can argue that grapes could be trucked a long way in a single state and you would be right that some are, but a state line is a not inherently bad line to draw on this.

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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#47 Post by Gray G » December 3rd, 2018, 6:29 am

bottom line is that I will continue to support smaller wineries run by people I can know
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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#48 Post by Al Osterheld » December 3rd, 2018, 7:00 am

I believe that in the current ruling he's allowed to "sell through" the bottles that are already labeled, although there additional complaints that have been filed.

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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#49 Post by brigcampbell » March 2nd, 2019, 9:43 am

Funny, Oregon .015% [swoon.gif]
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Re: Copper Cane lost Oregon label argument

#50 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » March 2nd, 2019, 11:04 am

Mark Christenson wrote:
November 25th, 2018, 8:27 am
Isn’t the idea of the AVA designation about where the grapes are grown? Why does location of vinification matter? Seems like ultimate quality of the wine would be impacted more by the method/style of vinification than simply the location of the winery. Unless an AVA specified using only local, wild yeasts or something like that.
Um...part of the method for high quality winemaking is gentle handling, and avoiding road trips of a thousand miles with the fruit. No offense to the Indiana wineries, and I have a good friendwho works with Durant fruit in Chicago, but picking, then loading the fruit onto a refrigerated and gassed truck, driving it to a winery in California, or the train station for mid-west delivery, then unloading it however many hours/days later is not high quality winemaking.

Also, most of the people on this board are what I would consider elite consumers in terms of palate evolution, knowledge, and, especially, level of interest in wine. The idea that someone in Chicago or Northern California is actually spending much time in the remote vineyards at harvest is not realistic. IMO, that time is crucial to making the best decisions and also for fine tuning the process to accommodate the unique qualities of the fruit in that year.

For 30 brix Zinfandel and Cabernet production, maybe this doesn’t matter as much, but for 21-23 Brix Pinot Noir, it’s a huge part of ultimate quality.

Unless of course the consumer really only wants this bottle to taste just like the last bottle. But if that’s the case, then Joe W makes wines from plenty of other places that they can enjoy.

Honestly, Wagner is like a fast food chain selling “Kobe” burgers...
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