The de-Napazation of Two-Buck Chuck

Bronco Wine Co., producer of the $1.99 Charles Shaw wine commonly nicknamed "Two-Buck Chuck," no longer will use "Napa" on labels of two if its wines.

The reason is simple. Bronco's Napa-named wines also contain grapes grown outside the Napa Valley.

The concession was made to settle a lawsuit brought by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control at the request of the Napa Valley Vintners trade group to enforce a 6-year-old state law requiring that at least 75% of the grapes used to make a bottle of wine must be grown in the county named on the label.

Winemaker Fred Franzia (seen here) of the family that owns Bronco, has lost numerous rounds in the state Supreme Court and other courts attempting to overturn the law.

As the Los Angeles Times reports, "The three brands in question account for $17 million of Bronco's $500 million in annual sales. Franzia will change its Napa Ridge label to Harlow Ridge, named after the street in Napa where Bronco runs a large bottling plant. The label will note that the grapes are from Lodi, Calif., a town south of Sacramento that is gaining recognition for its wines. Franzia said Bronco would use Napa grapes in its Rutherford Vintners and Napa Creek lines."

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