Thursday, January 5, 2012

2011 "New World" Wine Law Changes

The Guild of Sommeliers has published a list of 2011 worldwide wine law changes and I have obtained their permission to reproduce it on this blog.  2011 FrenchItalian and German wine law changes have been covered in prior posts.  This post covers "New World" wine law changes implemented in the same time period.

The following new AVAs were approved by the TTB:
  • Southern Napa: Coombsville
  • Sonoma County:  Fort Ross-Seaview.  The coastal AVA is located with Sonoma Coast AVA, south of the Annapolis area.  
  • Northern Sonoma County/Southern Mendocino County: Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak. Overlaps part of Alexander Valley.
  • Columbia Valley: Naches Heights

South Africa
Elandskloof is a new ward within Overberg.  Napier is another new ward located in the Cape South Coast region.  It is not located within a district. 
As of 2008, producers in Argentina may use the terms "Reserva" and "Gran Reserva" for white and red wines produced from certain varities.  To qualify for "Reserva", white wines must age for a minimum six months prior to release, and reds must age for a minimum twelve months prior to release.  Minimum aging increases to one and two years, respectively, for white and red "Gran Reserva" wines.
In 2011, the Chilean Ministry of Agriculture approved a new set of geographical terms, based on east/west geography rather than north/south geography (Ministry of Agriculture Decree # 16, an amendment to the original 1994 Decree # 464).  Now producers may use the designations "Costa" (coast), "Entre Cordilleras" (between mountains), or "Andes" to reflect the proximity of their vineyards to the coast or the mountains.  These new appellations may complement the existing appellations on labels in the future.  A min. 85% of grapes must be grown in the listed appellation. 


  1. Thanks for the update. Any idea how many wine laws change every year? We just posted this on our Facebook page (

    1. You are welcome. I am not sure what the number of wine law changes are annually but this end-of-year summary will be a regular feature of this blog. Also thanks for the additional exposure.