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IF WE CAN’T CALL IT PORT ON THE LABEL, WHAT DO WE CALL IT?

Since the law in 2005 no one can call their wines one of their safeguarded regional “place” names. These are: Burgundy, Chablis, Champagne, Chianti, Claret, Haut-Sauterne, Hock, Madeira, Malaga, Marsala, Moselle, Port, Retsina, Rhine, Sauterne, Sherry and Tokay. The only wineries allowed to still use these names is if they were using it prior to the law and have been grandfathered in. (Also, before you ask, according to the TTB, you still cannot use the place names even if you are buying it from someone who has the name grandfathered in.)

Many place names have easy workarounds, such as Sparkling Wine for Champagne. But the one that is the biggest hiccup for wineries is an alternative name to Port. Some simply call it “Dessert Wine” on the label, but this to me, as a consumer, is troublesome. I am not all that fond of Port but love dessert wine. Port is fortified wine, which means they’ve used an alcohol additive such as brandy. Dessert wine doesn’t use an alcohol additive but instead lets the natural sugars ferment by leaving the grapes on the vine longer.

After doing much research into alternate names for Port, the one that my clients have found the most success with is “Forté.” It’s close enough to the word Port, and more elegant that Forte.

Names you CANNOT call your port wine:

  • Fortified Wine (strangely enough, because that is what it is)
  • Nothing which contains the four letters consecutively port
  • Portly Dessert Wine
  • Export
  • Pour-it
  • Pour’t
  • Portage
  • Portal
  • Port-style

Some have been approved using these two names below, while others have not:

  • “Metodo Portuguese” which means (Portuguese method)
  • “Pour it”

Get Creative:

Some wineries use names such as: Fort, and “WSA,” which refers to “wine spirits additions,” “USB” (ports), “Not Starboard” (Starboard alone is trademarked already), Seriously crafted dessert wine.

Not the Four Letter Word:

The TTB firmly states that you cannot use any form the the four letters PORT in sequence, anywhere on the label, front or back. However, I often run across port in wineries where they clearly print the words port, but fluff it a bit, like in “Portly” even though they aren’t grandfathered in to use it. I ask how they got approved but they just answer, “depends on who approves the application”. It just makes me wonder if they legally filed the label. I would love to hear your comments or experiences using the word Port on your label or other clever names.

To be sure you will be using a top notch graphic designer who has many years of experience, knows the rules of printing, and keeps up with the modern trends, please contact me at [email protected] or click this link. Check out my designs here. I include testimonial pages where my clients express their experiences working with me. I offer unique designs to get your product label, brochures, and ads looking professional and sell. I design personally with you on each project so you get 25+ years experience behind each creation. I strive to save you money in the design process, using stock images and manipulating stock illustrations when the budget calls for it. I can guide you through the TTB approval process for your label and help find the right printer for your project. My design studio is located right in the heart of wine country, in Glen Ellen, Sonoma County, Northern California.

WHEN YOU DESIGN YOUR OWN WINE LABEL YOURSELF


“Just make my label TTB compliant, that’s all I need.”

You can save some money by designing your own wine label, but be sure to hire a professional designer to actually create the final.

If you already have a label or logo design in mind, you can draw up a rough sketch or maybe describe it in words and give that to your designer. Some people try to save money by designing their own label on their computer, using programs that are not made for a finished design, like the word of them all, Microsoft Word. All these are just fine for a designer to start with and can save you money by reducing rounds of concept designs.

Ack! Never design with fonts that come preinstalled on your computer:

Not everyone has a design in mind, but if you do, it is never a good idea to require the designer use your exact fonts you used that came supplied on your computer and the exact placement of the artwork without any tweaks, thinking you’ll be saving yourself some money. Surprisingly, this will NOT save you money. The reason being, the designer has to balance their design sense with a font they would never have chosen and art that is not the right style, thus taking longer to make it look professional and balanced. Your layout should be really be used as a guideline only.

Before and After:

The above graphic is an example of before and after. In the beginning, my client, Rio Claro Wines, sent me the sketch on the left. Without having to go back to the drawing board, since he liked his initial design, I kept their main idea intact. Making it look warmer, sleeker, and more inviting to the consumer was far easier than if they required me to use their exact fonts and exact design and just make it look better. I was able to use the pencil drawing the owner sketched of his vineyard, apply some filters and switched out their busy

Small Tweaks to Client’s art keeps it personal:

I was able to use the pencil drawing the owner sketched of his vineyard, apply some filters and switched out their busy clipart wine with hearts for a simplified version of stock art that didn’t clutter up their label but still got the vision across. When finished, not only did I supply them with their labels, but also their new logo in a variety of formats, that they could use however they pleased.

To be sure you will be using a top notch graphic designer who has many years of experience, knows the rules of printing, and keeps up with the modern trends, please contact me at [email protected] or click this link. Check out my designs here. I include testimonial pages where my clients express their experiences working with me. I offer unique designs to get your product label, brochures, and ads looking professional and sell. I design personally with you on each project so you get 25+ years experience behind each creation. Striving to save you money in the design process, I use stock images and manipulate stock illustrations when the budget calls for it. I can guide you through the TTB approval process for your label and help find the right printer for your project. My design studio is located right in the heart of wine country, in Glen Ellen, Sonoma County, Northern California.