Court rules against discount wine seller

May 27, 2005 at 2:27 PM

SACRAMENTO, May 27 (UPI) -- A California court has handed yet another defeat to the controversial maker of a popular $1.99 bottle of wine.

A Sacramento court rejected arguments of Bronco Wine Co., whose bottles of Charles Shaw wine retail for $1.99, in its fight to use the word "Napa" on wines that don't always contain grapes grown in California's Napa Valley wine region, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

California has a 2000 law that requires winemakers to use at least 75 percent of the grapes from a county in a bottle if they are going to use the place name on their label. But a similar 1986 federal law lets existing wine labels keep their names -- even if they don't meet the state's grape content requirement.

Bronco invoked the federal law to label its wines as products of the famous Napa region.

But Thursday the 3rd District Court of Appeal rejected Bronco's claim that the federal law trumped the state law and also rejected the vintner's claims the state labeling rule violated Bronco's right to free speech.

It was the third such defeat for Bronco, the newspaper said.

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