Two Paso Robles, Calif., wine businesses are among those who want federal approval for new grape names.
On Thursday, more than 50 potential new grape variety names – from “Black Spanish” and “By George” to the lighthearted “Esprit” – were served up by the Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. Their fate, technically speaking, will be up to incoming Trump administration officials, who have yet to be asked about grape varietal nomenclature.
If approved, following the public tasting period that expires Jan. 17, the changes would allow wine bottlers to use these additional approved grape variety names on labels and in advertisements.
Some names have a rather continental ring about them.
TTB is also interested in comments that might bring into question whether an added grape name is accurate and appropriate for the designation of American wines.
Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.
Tablas Creek Vineyard in Paso Robles, for instance, petitioned federal officials to add several names including ‘‘Bourboulenc.’’
“Bourboulenc is a white Vitis vinifera variety associated with the Rhone region of France, where it is one of the 13 authorized varieties permitted in the Chateauneuf-du-Pape appellation of origin,” the agency noted in the Federal Register.
Other names proposed by Tablas Creek Vineyard include “Gros Manseng” and “Picardan,” among others.
A different Paso Robles-based operation, Cypher Winery, is seeking approval for several grape names, including one identified as “Touriga Nacional.”
“Touriga Nacional is a black Vitis vinifera grape variety originally from Portugal,” the federal agency explained.
A third business in San Luis Obispo County, Laraneta Winery in the town of Templeton, petitioned TTB to add “Bianchetta trevigiana” to the list of variety names. Another operation in Templeton, RBZ Vineyards, petitioned to add “Marselan.”
The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau is the same agency that administers viticultural area designations, which currently include the 614,000-acre Paso Robles Viticultural Area in San Luis Obispo County.