'Calistoga' approved as a wine designation

Chalk up one more designation in the ever-more-complex world of U.S. wine labeling.

Napa Valley winemakers have been cleared by the federal government to put the name "Calistoga" on wines made from grapes grown in that California town.

The decision by the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which regulates wine and wine labels, goes into effect early in 2010. A California law also requires Napa vintners to use the words "Napa Valley" on labels.

Local vintners first petitioned the feds in 2003 for the Calistoga permission. Calistoga, located in the northern part of Napa Valley, is one of the region's oldest communities.

The lengthy process, and some lobbying and lawsuits that created quite a controversial situation, are detailed in this report on the SFGate.com website.

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