27 CFR § 4.39 - Prohibited practices.
(a) Statements on labels. Containers of wine, or any label on such containers, or any individual covering, carton, or other wrapper of such container, or any written, printed, graphic, or other matter accompanying such container to the consumer shall not contain:
(1) Any statement that is false or untrue in any particular, or that, irrespective of falsity, directly, or by ambiguity, omission, or inference, or by the addition of irrelevant, scientific or technical matter, tends to create a misleading impression.
(2) Any statement that is disparaging of a competitor's products.
(3) Any statement, design, device, or representation which is obscene or indecent.
(4) Any statement, design, device, or representation of or relating to analyses, standards, or tests, irrespective of falsity, which the appropriate TTB officer finds to be likely to mislead the consumer.
(5) Any statement, design, device or representation of or relating to any guarantee, irrespective of falsity, which the appropriate TTB officer finds to be likely to mislead the consumer. Money-back guarantees are not prohibited.
(6) A trade or brand name that is the name of any living individual of public prominence, or existing private or public organization, or is a name that is in simulation or is an abbreviation thereof, or any graphic, pictorial, or emblematic representation of any such individual or organization, if the use of such name or representation is likely falsely to lead the consumer to believe that the product has been endorsed, made, or used by, or produced for, or under the supervision of, or in accordance with the specifications of, such individual or organization; Provided, That this paragraph shall not apply to the use of the name of any person engaged in business as a producer, blender, rectifier, importer, wholesaler, retailer, bottler, or warehouseman of wine, nor to the use by any person of a trade or brand name that is the name of any living individual of public prominence or existing private or public organization, provided such trade or brand name was used by him or his predecessors in interest prior to August 29, 1935.
(i) Contains distilled spirits;
(ii) Is comparable to a distilled spirit; or
(iii) Has intoxicating qualities.
(8) Any coined word or name in the brand name or class and type designation which simulates, imitates, or which tends to create the impression that the wine so labeled is entitled to bear, any class, type, or permitted designation recognized by the regulations in this part unless such wine conforms to the requirements prescribed with respect to such designation and is in fact so designated on its labels.
(9) Any word in the brand name or class and type designation which is the name of a distilled spirits product or which simulates, imitates, or created the impression that the wine so labeled is, or is similar to, any product customarily made with a distilled spirits base. Examples of such words are: “Manhattan,” “Martini,” and “Daquiri” in a class and type designation or brand name of a wine cocktail; “Cuba Libre,” “Zombie,” and “Collins” in a class and type designation or brand name of a wine specialty or wine highball; “creme,” “cream,” “de,” or “of” when used in conjunction with “menthe,” “mint,” or “cacao” in a class and type designation or a brand name of a mint or chocolate flavored wine specialty.
(b) Statement of age. No statement of age or representation relative to age (including words or devices in any brand name or mark) shall be made, except (1) for vintage wine, in accordance with the provisions of § 4.27; (2) references relating to methods of wine production involving storage or aging in accordance with § 4.38(f); or (3) use of the word “old” as part of a brand name.
(c) Statement of bottling dates. The statement of any bottling date shall not be deemed to be a representation relative to age, if such statement appears in lettering not greater than 8-point Gothic caps and in the following form: “Bottled in __” (inserting the year in which the wine was bottled).
(d) Statement of miscellaneous dates. No date, except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section with respect to statement of vintage year and bottling date, shall be stated on any label unless in addition thereto and in direct conjunction therewith in the same size and kind of printing, there shall be stated an explanation of the significance thereof such as “established” or “founded in”. If any such date refers to the date of establishment of any business or brand name, it shall not be stated, in the case of containers of a capacity of 5 liters or less, in any script, type, or printing larger than 2 millimeters, and shall be stated in direct conjunction with the name of the person, company, or brand name to which it refers if the appropriate TTB officer finds that this is necessary in order to prevent confusion as to the person, company, or brand name to which the establishment date is applicable.
(e) Simulation of Government stamps.
(1) No labels shall be of such design as to resemble or simulate a stamp of the United States Government or any State or foreign government. No label, other than stamps authorized or required by the United States Government or any State or foreign government, shall state or indicate that the wine contained in the labeled container is produced, blended, bottled, packed, or sold under, or in accordance with, any municipal, State or Federal Government authorization, law, or regulation, unless such statement is required or specifically authorized by Federal, State or municipal law or regulation, or is required or specifically authorized by the laws or regulations of a foreign country. If the municipal, State, or Federal Government permit number is stated upon a label, it shall not be accompanied by any additional statement relating thereto.
(2) Bonded wine cellar and bonded winery numbers may be stated but only in direct conjunction with the name and address of the person operating such wine cellar or winery. Statement of bonded wine cellar or winery numbers may be made in the following form: “Bonded Wine Cellar No. __”, “Bonded Winery No. __”, “B. W. C. No. __”, “B. W. No. __”. No additional reference thereto shall be made, nor shall any use be made of such statement that may convey the impression that the wine has been made or matured under Government supervision or in accordance with Government specifications or standards.
(3) If imported wines are covered by a certificate of origin and/or a certificate of vintage date issued by a duly authorized official of the appropriate foreign government, the label, except where prohibited by the foreign government, may refer to such certificate or the fact of such certification, but shall not be accompanied by any additional statements relating thereto. The reference to such certificate or certification shall be substantially in the following form:
This product accompanied at the time of the importation by a certificate issued by the
government indicating that the product is
and (if label bears a statement of vintage date) that the wine is of the vintage of
(f) Use of the word “Importer”, or similar words. The word Importer, or similar words, shall not be stated on labels on containers of domestic wine except as part of the bona fide name of a permittee for or by whom, or of a retailer for whom, such wine is bottled, packed or distributed: Provided, That in all cases where such words are used as part of such name, there shall be stated on the same label the words “Product of the United States”, or similar words to negative any impression that the product is imported, and such negative statement shall appear in the same size and kind of printing as such name.
(g) Flags, seals, coats of arms, crests, and other insignia. Labels shall not contain, in the brand name or otherwise, any statement, design, device, or pictorial representation which the appropriate TTB officer finds relates to, or is capable of being construed as relating to, the armed forces of the United States, or the American flag, or any emblem, seal, insignia, or decoration associated with such flag or armed forces; nor shall any label contain any statement, design, device, or pictorial representation of or concerning any flag, seal, coat of arms, crest or other insignia, likely to mislead the consumer to believe that the product has been endorsed, made, or used by, or produced for, or under the supervision of, or in accordance with the specifications of the government, organization, family, or individual with whom such flag, seal, coat of arms, crest, or insignia is associated.
(h) Health-related statements -
(1) Definitions. When used in this paragraph (h), terms are defined as follows:
(i) Health-related statement means any statement related to health (other than the warning statement required by § 16.21 of this chapter) and includes statements of a curative or therapeutic nature that, expressly or by implication, suggest a relationship between the consumption of alcohol, wine, or any substance found within the wine, and health benefits or effects on health. The term includes both specific health claims and general references to alleged health benefits or effects on health associated with the consumption of alcohol, wine, or any substance found within the wine, as well as health-related directional statements. The term also includes statements and claims that imply that a physical or psychological sensation results from consuming the wine, as well as statements and claims of nutritional value (e.g., statements of vitamin content). Statements concerning caloric, carbohydrate, protein, and fat content do not constitute nutritional claims about the product.
(ii) Specific health claim is a type of health-related statement that, expressly or by implication, characterizes the relationship of the wine, alcohol, or any substance found within the wine, to a disease or health-related condition. Implied specific health claims include statements, symbols, vignettes, or other forms of communication that suggest, within the context in which they are presented, that a relationship exists between wine, alcohol, or any substance found within the wine, and a disease or health-related condition.
(iii) Health-related directional statement is a type of health-related statement that directs or refers consumers to a third party or other source for information regarding the effects on health of wine or alcohol consumption.
(2) Rules for labeling -
(i) Health-related statements. In general, labels may not contain any health-related statement that is untrue in any particular or tends to create a misleading impression as to the effects on health of alcohol consumption. TTB will evaluate such statements on a case-by-case basis and may require as part of the health-related statement a disclaimer or some other qualifying statement to dispel any misleading impression conveyed by the health-related statement.
(ii) Specific health claims.
(A) TTB will consult with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as needed, on the use of a specific health claim on a wine label. If FDA determines that the use of such a labeling claim is a drug claim that is not in compliance with the requirements of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, TTB will not approve the use of that specific health claim on a wine label.
(B) TTB will approve the use of a specific health claim on a wine label only if the claim is truthful and adequately substantiated by scientific or medical evidence; sufficiently detailed and qualified with respect to the categories of individuals to whom the claim applies; adequately discloses the health risks associated with both moderate and heavier levels of alcohol consumption; and outlines the categories of individuals for whom any levels of alcohol consumption may cause health risks. This information must appear as part of the specific health claim.
(iii) Health-related directional statements. A statement that directs consumers to a third party or other source for information regarding the effects on health of wine or alcohol consumption is presumed misleading unless it -
(B)(1) Includes as part of the health-related directional statement the following disclaimer: “This statement should not encourage you to drink or to increase your alcohol consumption for health reasons;” or
(2) Includes as part of the health-related directional statement some other qualifying statement that the appropriate TTB officer finds is sufficient to dispel any misleading impression conveyed by the health-related directional statement.
(i) Geographic brand names.
(1) Except as provided in subparagraph 2, a brand name of viticultural significance may not be used unless the wine meets the appellation of origin requirements for the geographic area named.
(2) For brand names used in existing certificates of label approval issued prior to July 7, 1986:
(i) The wine shall meet the appellation of origin requirements for the geographic area named; or
(A) A county or a viticultural area, if the brand name bears the name of a geographic area smaller than a state, or;
(B) A state, county or a viticultural area, if the brand name bears a state name; or
(iii) The wine shall be labeled with some other statement which the appropriate TTB officer finds to be sufficient to dispel the impression that the geographic area suggested by the brand name is indicative of the origin of the wine.
(3) A name has viticultural significance when it is the name of a state or county (or the foreign equivalents), when approved as a viticultural area in part 9 of this chapter, or by a foreign government, or when found to have viticultural significance by the appropriate TTB officer.
(j) Product names of geographical significance (not mandatory before January 1, 1983). The use of product names with specific geographical significance is prohibited unless the appropriate TTB officer finds that because of their long usage, such names are recognized by consumers as fanciful product names and not representations as to origin. In such cases the product names shall be qualified with the word “brand” immediately following the product name, in the same size of type, and as conspicuous as the product name itself. In addition, the label shall bear an appellation of origin under the provisions of § 4.34(b), and, if required by the appropriate TTB officer, a statement disclaiming the geographical reference as a representation as to the origin of the wine.
(k) Other indications of origin. Other statements, designs, devices or representations which indicate or infer an origin other than the true place of origin of the wine are prohibited.
(l) Foreign terms. Foreign terms which: (1) Describe a particular condition of the grapes at the time of harvest (such as “Auslese,” “Eiswein,” and “Trockenbeerenauslese”); or (2) denote quality under foreign law (such as “Qualitatswein” and “Kabinett”) may not be used on the labels of American wine.
(m) Use of a vineyard, orchard, farm or ranch name. When used in a brand name, a vineyard, orchard, farm or ranch name having geographical or viticultural significance is subject to the requirements of §§ 4.33(b) and 4.39(i) of this part. Additionally, the name of a vineyard, orchard, farm or ranch shall not be used on a wine label, unless 95 percent of the wine in the container was produced from primary winemaking material grown on the named vineyard, orchard, farm or ranch.
(n) Use of a varietal name, type designation of varietal significance, semi-generic name, or geographic distinctive designation. Labels that contain in the brand name, product name, or distinctive or fanciful name, any varietal (grape type) designation, type designation of varietal significance, semi-generic geographic type designation, or geographic distinctive designation, are misleading unless the wine is made in accordance with the standards prescribed in classes 1, 2, or 3 of § 4.21. Any other use of such a designation on other than a class 1, 2, or 3 wine is presumed misleading.
The following state regulations pages link to this page.