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Copper Cane’s Elouan Brand Lines Up Label Change After TTB Ruling

November 21, 2018

Copper Cane Wines & Provisions’ Oregon brand Elouan is changing its labeling following a ruling by the Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) that the brand was in violation of Oregon’s wine labeling laws. Going forward, Elouan, which is Oregon-appellated, will not be able to reference specific Oregon regions on its labels.

“We’re still appellating the wine as Oregon, as we always have,” Copper Cane founder Joe Wagner tells SND. “They requested that we remove any references to more specific AVAs, which we have done.” In addition, future Elouan labels cannot reference “three diverse valleys,” “Oregon’s Coastal Regions,” and “Purely Oregon,” according to the TTB.

Prior to the ruling, Elouan’s back label has listed the Willamette, Rogue, and Umpqua regions by name. Oregon law requires wines produced out-of-state to carry the general “Oregon” appellation name (Copper Cane produces the brand in California from Oregon grapes). Additionally, Oregon wines claiming a specific regional AVA must be sourced entirely from that region.

According to the Oregonian, the TTB is forcing Copper Cane to surrender nine labels, though many are labels from previous years that aren’t on the market. By surrendering the COLAs (Certification of Label Approval), Wagner will be allowed to sell out the existing inventory for the 2017 Elouan Pinot Noir, despite its out-of-compliance label. Roughly 75,000 cases of that wine remain on the market, according to the TTB’s records.

“Everything we’re doing as of now is in compliance,” says Wagner. “We’ve been given COLAs for the new labels and they’re not very different from the old labels.”—Shane English

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