Industry Advocacy
Protecting the Napa Valley
Since 1944, the
NVV has worked to protect the Napa Valley as
the premier winegrowing region and that work
is even more keenly focused as the renown of
Napa’s wines has taken center stage in the glo-
balized wine industry.
Protecting the Integrity of Napa
Valley’s Agriculture
With the strictest land use
laws and policies in place it would seem like the
pressures on land use would be well-addressed
at this point, but challenges continue to arise.
For example, the association has been involved
in recent efforts by Napa County and other in-
terested parties to oppose the threat of Indian
casino gaming. The NVV is committed to main-
taining the integrity of the Napa Valley Agricul-
tural Preserve, a core value and unique attribute
of the Napa Valley community.
Addressing the concerns of Climate Change
In 2006, many in Napa Valley awoke on Memo-
rial Day weekend to read in
USA Today
that Napa
was on the verge complete devastation due to
global warming—which was news to the growers
and vintners here. To get a comprehensive view
of the current state of affairs the NVV created
a vintner task force which engaged a team of
the world’s leading climate scientists to conduct
Napa-specific research. The report, “Climate and
Phenology in Napa Valley: A Compilation and
Analysis of Historical Data” details the results of
this research.
Protecting the Napa Name
Imagine a bottle
of wine that by its brand name on the label leads
you to believe that the grapes grown to produce
this wine came from the incomparable Napa
Valley, when they really came from bulk wine
producers in less desirable areas. You thought
you could trust the label, but without a tough in-
dustry watchdog to protect truth in wine label-
ing, consumers in the US and around the world
would be misled by brands misusing Napa. The
NVV’s efforts on this front include petitioning
the European Union (EU) to become the first
non-European wine region to obtain Geograph-
ic Indication (GI) status in the EU in 2007, and
in 2012, after following a similar path with the
government of the People’s Republic of China,
Napa Valley was recognized with GI status in
that country, the first region in the world out-
side of China to be so recognized. The NVV has
obtained similar status in several other countries
and regularly monitors trademark applications
worldwide to ensure the integrity of the Napa
Valley name.
Napa Labeling Laws Lead the Industry
In 1981, Napa Valley was the first recognized
American Viticultural Area or AVA in California.
Today there are 16 sub- or nested-AVAs within
the Napa Valley AVA. Back in 1989, vintners in
Napa Valley seeking to maintain and expand
upon what was then the growing perception
of the region for quality-driven wine, asked the
state legislature to enact the Napa Conjunctive
Labeling Law. This requires that on a label where
any wholly contained sub-AVAs is listed on the
label as place of origin, that Napa Valley must
also appear in close proximity to the sub region.
More than 20 years later other wine regions are
only just starting to enact similar legislation. Be-
tween 2001 and 2006, the NVV fought all the
way to the US Supreme Court to have another
state law it sponsored upheld: the Napa Name
Law, which protects truth in labeling for Califor-
nia consumers.
For more information about the association’s
advocacy efforts,
govern-
ment relations director for the NVV.
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