California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District in Sacramento, CA issued its decision in the case of Bronco vs. The State of California
12/18/2002 - St. Helena, CA - Earlier today, the California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District in Sacramento, CA issued its decision in the case of Bronco vs. The State of California - to which the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) was a party.
The court invalidated the state labeling law on the ground that it is preempted by federal regulation.
* We disagree with the Court's ruling on preemption. There are many examples of state alcoholic beverage labeling laws which supplement federal regulations. Vintners regularly comply with both. In addition, the state law is fully consistent with the fundamental purpose of federal law -- which is to prohibit labels that mislead the consumer.
* Upon careful review of the ruling, The Napa Valley Vintners will consider appealing the decision to the California State Supreme Court.
* Eliminating consumer confusion has always been the impetus behind our legislative and legal strategy - it will continue to be so with respect to all future Napa Valley wine labeling issues. Today's ruling virtually disregarded this concept.
* We continue to stand behind one simple premise - a wine label should not suggest the grapes come from Napa Valley unless they really do.