The Wine Origins Alliance began on July 26, 2005 when eight wine regions signed the Joint Declaration to Protect Wine Place & Origin in Napa Valley, California. The Declaration, a set of principles aimed at educating consumers and policymakers about the importance of location to winemaking, continues to guide our work to this day. The global coalition has now grown to 31 members in 11 countries spanning North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.
Today, the Alliance works to eliminate all tariffs on wine and non-tariff barriers to trade in wine, including the lack of protection for wine region names. The below milestones underscore the continued expansion of our efforts and the growing support by governments, courts and international trade officials.
Washington Wine Quality Alliance Formed
An alliance is formed to begin to work toward common standards of quality for wines at all levels in the state. It defines the term “reserve” and its use on wine labels; requires all wines labeled “Washington wine” to be made entirely of grapes grown within the state; prohibits the use of the names Burgundy, Champagne, Bordeaux, and Chablis; and requires members to follow best management practices, addressing sustainable grape production, environmental quality, human resources, and economic viability.
Supreme Court Upholds CA Law, Protects Napa Name
In refusing to hear an appeal of the unanimous California Court of Appeals decision in the “Napa Ridge” case, the U.S. Supreme Court upholds a California state law reserving the Napa Valley name exclusively for wines from the Napa Valley AVA.
U.S. Congress Approves Legislation Protecting European Wine Place Names
The U.S. Congress passes legislation implementing the first phase of the U.S.-EU Wine Accord banning the future misuse of 16 wine place names, including Burgundy, Chablis, Champagne, Chianti, Port, Sherry, and Tokay. However, the legislation allows U.S. producers the option to continue using misleading labels already on the market.
EU Protects Napa Valley’s Name
Napa Valley becomes the first wine region outside the European Union to be granted geographic indication status, gaining protection of the California AVA’s name throughout Europe.
Long Island (New York) and Rioja Join Wine Origins Alliance
With the addition of Long Island and Rioja, the Joint Declaration to Protect Wine Place & Origins expands to 16 quality wine regions.
Australia Protects EU Wine Names and Gains GI Protections in the EU
After a one year phase-out process, Australia recognizes European wine region names, including Burgundy, Chablis, Champagne, Port, and Sherry; at the same time, the EU agrees to recognize 112 Australian geographic indications (GIs).
Canada Protects EU Wine Names
After a phase-in period, Canadian law protects Chablis, Champagne, Port/Porto, Sherry, Burgundy, Bordeaux, and Chianti; requiring all wines to be accurately labeled based on their origin.
Barossa Joins Wine Origins Alliance
The South Australian wine region of Barossa joins the Wine Origins Alliance as the 20th member.
McLaren Vale and Texas Wine Growers Join Wine Origins Alliance
The Wine Origins alliance welcomes two new members, bringing the total to 22, during Vinexpo 2017 in Bordeaux.
Congressional Resolution Acknowledges Contributions of U.S. Wine Regions
U.S. Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Lee Zeldin (R-NY) introduce a Congressional resolution, H.Res.766, that recognizes the uniqueness of American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) and the contributions they provide to the U.S. and global economy.
California Court of Appeals Upholds Wine Labeling Law
The California Court of Appeals denies an appeal to overturn a California state law prohibiting labels that misleadingly include the “Napa” name without using Napa Valley grapes to produce the wine.
Oregon Prohibits Use of Semi-Generic Designations on Wine Labels
The adoption of Oregon Administrative Rule 845-010-0930 ensured that no person may use a semi-generic designation (such as Burgundy, Chablis, and Chianti) of geographic significance or a name that implies a semi-generic designation as a class or type designation on a Oregon wine label.
California Protects Napa Name
California state government backs proposal and passage of Business and Professions Code Section 25241, requiring that wine sold for interstate or foreign commerce cannot use the name “Napa” or the names of other federally recognized sub-appellations located within Napa County on a wine label or other advertising for the wine unless at least 85 percent of the wine is derived from grapes grown in the area indicated by the appellation.
Transatlantic Agreement Signed by Eight Renowned Wine Regions
Five American and three European wine regions sign a transatlantic agreement – Joint Declaration to Protect Wine Place & Origin – and embark on an effort to educate policymakers and consumers around the world about the importance of place names. The signatories are Napa Valley, Oregon, Walla Walla Valley, Washington, Willamette Valley, Champagne, Jerez-Xérès-Sherry, and Porto.
California Protects Sonoma
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signs a law reserving the use of the Sonoma County name to labels on wines with at least 75 percent of grapes from Sonoma County.
Wine Origins Alliance Expands to 14 Regions
Six U.S. and international wine regions join the original signatories of the Joint Declaration to Protect Wine Place & Origin. The new signatories include Sonoma County (California), Paso Robles (California), Chianti Classico (Italy), Tokaj (Hungary), Victoria (Australia), and Western Australia.
Australia and EU Sign Wine Accord
Australia and the EU sign “the most comprehensive agreement ever concluded with a third country”; Australia agrees to phase out misuse of Champagne, Sherry, Port, and other names in the future.
California Protects Sonoma County Name
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed law requiring all wine produced in a Sonoma County AVA to include the words “Sonoma County” on its wine label. All wineries must comply by January 1, 2014.
China and Brazil Increase Protection of Champagne Name
Chinese and Brazilian trade officials formally recognize the Champagne name and appellation, thereby prohibiting the name’s misuse in each of these countries.
Santa Barbara County (California), Bordeaux and Bourgogne/Chablis Join Wine Origins Alliance
The Joint Declaration to Protect Wine Place & Origin now boasts 19 quality wine regions – all jointly advocating for better protection of quality wine regions and their names.
Four Napa Valley dessert wines will no longer be called ‘port’
Four Napa Valley Vintner members voluntarily discontinue using the term “port” for their fortified dessert wines.
Poll Finds Overwhelming Consumer Support for Accurate Wine Labeling
A survey of 800 U.S. wine consumers conducted by GBA Strategies finds that 94 percent of consumers support establishing laws that are designed to protect consumers from misleading labels and ensure that only wines from a particular region may use the name of that geographic region, while 75 percent say that wine labels should be accurate to allow consumers to make an educated purchase.
United Kingdom Protects Napa Valley Name
As a proactive measure ahead of Brexit, the Napa Valley name receives Certification Mark protection in the United Kingdom, guaranteeing continued protection after the UK left the European Union.
The U.S. Senate Passes Resolution to Acknowledge Importance of AVAs
The U.S. Senate simultaneously introduces and passes S. Res. 649, which recognized the contribution of AVAs and the value of their region names.
Missouri and Yamanashi Join
Wine Origins Alliance
Missouri (U.S.) and Yamanashi (Japan) join the Alliance at Prowein 2019 in Germany, expanding it to 24 members.
WOA Members Advocate for Elimination of Tariffs and Non-Tariff Barriers on Wine
Wine Origins Alliance members advocate on Capitol Hill for the elimination of tariffs and non-tariff barriers on wine, culminating in a tasting for members of Congress and their staffs.
U.S. Congressional Resolution to Recognize AVAs is Introduced
U.S. Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Lee Zeldin (R-NY) build upon their efforts in the previous Congress and introduce H. Res. 642, a congressional resolution that recognizes the uniqueness of AVAs and the contributions they provide to the U.S. and global economy.
WOA Submits Letter to USTR and EU Commissioner on Trade Opposing Tariffs on Wine
Wine Origins Alliance members submit comments to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and a letter to the EU Commissioner on Trade opposing tariffs on wine as countermeasures in unrelated trade disputes between the United States and European Union.
Wine Origins Alliance Welcomes Four New U.S. Members
The Wine Origins Alliance welcomes four new U.S. members (Finger Lakes, Livermore Valley, Monterey County and Seneca Lake) at a reception and signing ceremony in Washington, DC, with U.S. members of Congress. The Alliance grows to 28 members.
Wine Origins Alliance Welcomes Two New Members: Rhône and South Africa
The Wine Origins Alliance welcomes Rhone (France) and South Africa, expanding it to 30 members.
Wine Origins Alliance Hosts
The First-ever "Wine on Earth
The Alliance hosts the first-ever Wine on Earth Taste-A-Thon: a day of virtual wine tastings that took place around the globe. Fourteen Alliance members participated, with a total of 35 tastings throughout the day.
Provence Joins Wine Origins Alliance
Provence (France) joins the Wine Origins Alliance, expanding it to 31 members.
Wine Origins Alliance Sends Letter to USTR Opposing All Tariffs on Wine
The Alliance submits comments to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative opposing all tariffs on wine during a comment period pertaining to an unrelated U.S.-EU trade dispute.