California wine producer Petroni Vineyards is in dispute with the wine consortium which administrates the Brunello di Montalcino denomination of origin in Italy over the use of the name Brunello.
The Sonoma-based winery said it had been asked by the Consorzio di Brunello di Montalcino to cease using the name Brunello di Sonoma for one of its red wines.
However, Petroni was adamant that the use of the name does not infringe the protected status of Brunello di Montalcino.
"The name Brunello refers to the grape and not the place where it is produced," said Lorenzo Petroni, founder of Petroni Vineyards and proprietor of the North Beach Restaurant. "My wine is clearly labelled as coming from Sonoma, the location of my Poggio alla Pietra vineyard. Its label has been approved by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, the US government agency that oversees all processes associated with winemaking and labelling."
Brunello is the name given to wines made from the Sangiovese clone, Sangiovese Grosso, which is grown in Italy and in the US. No regulation prohibits the use of the term Brunello for United States-produced wines, Petroni Vineyards stated, adding that "at least three American wineries" produce wines carrying the Brunello name.