The Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission imposed one of the largest alcohol fines in the agency’s history against a California winery over labeling of Pinot Noir wine made with Oregon grapes.
The OLCC alleged that the Copper Cane Winery, located in Rutherford, California, imported wine into Oregon under Copper Cane’s Certificate of Approval (CERA) privileges, but misrepresented the source of the grapes. OLCC also alleged that wine labels and marketing display materials improperly referenced specific American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) within the State of Oregon and stated that the grapes were from the Oregon Coast or the coastal area.
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Under Oregon's labeling laws, wines must contain 95% of grapes from a particular AVA and be finished in that region in order to include the region’s name on the label or marketing materials. Copper Cane’s Elouan wines are made from Oregon grapes, however, they are produced in California. Copper Cane opted to settle the charges, but the winery didn’t admit to the allegations or accept responsibility for mislabeling their products. The winery agreed to pay the $50,000 fine and abide by all wine labeling standards going forward.
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