Wine Labeling: Overview of Labeling Requirements for Domestic Wines – 7 Percent or More Alcohol by Volume

Prior to bottling wine for sale in the United States, producers and bottlers should understand what information must, may, and may not appear on a wine label, and whether they need to apply to TTB for approval before using the label. Requirements differ based on whether the wine contains 7 percent or more alcohol by volume or less than 7 percent alcohol by volume, and whether the wine will be sold in interstate commerce or only in the state of bottling.

How must wines with 7 percent or more alcohol by volume be labeled?

The Federal Alcohol Administration Act (FAA Act) imposes certain packaging and labeling requirements for wines that contain 7 percent or more alcohol by volume, if the bottled wines are sold or otherwise introduced in interstate commerce. (Wines that are withdrawn without payment of tax for exportation in bond are not subject to FAA Act labeling requirements.)  Generally, these wines must be labeled with the following information required by 27 CFR 4.32 and 4.34, as well as the health warning statement required by the Alcoholic Beverage Labeling Act of 1988 and 27 CFR part 16:

Required information on the brand label:

Required information on any label:

 

Please refer to each mandatory information topic page for full requirements.

Wine labels may also contain optional information, such as a vintage date or organic claims. In addition, some labeling practices are prohibited. Please refer to the optional information topic pages and 27 CFR part 4 for details.

Do labels for wine that contains 7 percent or more alcohol by volume need to be submitted to TTB for review prior to bottling?

Yes.  Unless the bottler is withdrawing wine without payment of tax for exportation in bond, the bottler must obtain either a Certificate of Label Approval (COLA) or a Certificate of Exemption from Label Approval from TTB prior to bottling the wine.

The FAA Act requires bottlers to obtain a COLA before the bottled wine may be sold or otherwise introduced into interstate commerce.

The purpose of a COLA is to ensure that the wine is labeled in compliance with TTB regulations.  For additional details about these certificates, including how to apply to TTB to receive them, see the COLAs Online Frequently Asked Questions.

Once you have a COLA, you may make certain allowable revisions to the approved label without needing to submit the revised label to TTB for another review.

Bottlers may apply for a Certificate of Exemption from Label Approval to cover wine that will not be sold or otherwise introduced in interstate commerce (i.e., bottled wine that will be sold exclusively within the state in which it is bottled). See the next question and answer for more information.

Do different labeling requirements apply if my wine is sold only in the state of bottling?

Wines that contain at least 7 percent alcohol by volume, are sold only in the state of bottling, and are covered by a Certificate of Exemption are not subject to the labeling requirements of 27 CFR part 4, which generally apply to wines sold in interstate commerce. However, there are other mandatory labeling requirements that apply, as explained below.

For Sale in [name of State] Only

As a condition for receiving exemption from label approval, TTB Form 5100.31 provides that the label covered by a Certificate of Exemption must include the following statement:

“For sale in [name of State where bottled] only”

There are no specific type size requirements for this statement and it may appear on any label affixed to the container.

Health Warning Statement

Alcohol beverages bottled or imported for sale or distribution in the United States, including wines containing at least 0.5 percent alcohol by volume and intended for human consumption, must bear the health warning statement required by the Alcoholic Beverage Labeling Act of 1988.  See 27 CFR part 16.  This requirement applies regardless of whether the bottled wine will be sold in interstate or intrastate commerce.

See Health Warning Statement for additional guidance on wording, formatting, and placement requirements.

Labeling Requirements under 27 CFR Part 24

Under 27 CFR 24.257(a), proprietors of wine premises must label each bottle or other container of beverage wine prior to removal for consumption or sale with the following information: 

  • Name and address of the wine premises where bottled or packed;

  • Brand name (if different from the name of the premises where bottled and packed);

  • Alcohol content, as percent by volume or in a format described in 27 CFR 4.36 and 4.38(b)(3);

  • Net contents of the container; and

  • Designation of the kind of wine: The designation must include enough information (when viewed with the alcohol content statement) to identify the tax class of the wine and to adequately disclose the nature and composition of the wine. The wine must be identified by the term “wine” (or a word that signifies a type of wine, such as “cider,” “perry,” or “mead,” as applicable). If the wine contains more than 0.392 gram of carbon dioxide per 100 milliliters, the word “sparkling” or “carbonated,” as applicable, must be included in the designation.

The labeling requirements of 27 CFR part 24 apply to wines regardless of whether they are being sold in interstate or intrastate commerce.  However, bottled wines covered by a COLA will satisfy the mandatory information requirements of 27 CFR 24.257(a).  Wines that are covered by a certificate of exempton must also satisfy these requirements.

 

 

Page last reviewed: March 1, 2021
Page last updated: March 1, 2021 
Maintained by: Office of Communications