The law aims to boost recognition of Sonoma County as a region

The law aims to boost recognition of Sonoma County as a region

All wines produced in California's Sonoma County must now list both the region and sub-region (AVA) on the label after a three-year grace period over a law expired.

The legislation means that the region's winegrowers must include the words 'Sonoma County' on the label to get approval from the US's Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. However, the AVA name can appear separately to the region name on a label, according to trade group Sonoma County Vintners.

The law was officially introduced in January 2011, but producers had until yesterday (1 January) to abide by the rules as part of a phase-in period.

The aim of the measure is to boost global brand recognition for Sonoma County and each of the 13 AVAs within the region, Sonoma County Vintners said.  

At the time that the law was being agreed, Nick Frey, president of the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission said: “In this increasingly competitive wine market, building awareness for Sonoma County and the wine regions within the county is critical to Sonoma County grape growers and the wineries they supply." 

Similar laws have previously been passed in California's Napa Valley, Lodi and Paso Robles regions.