Poll: Consumers want truth-in-labeling

NEW YORK -- Representatives of 15 different wine regions have issued a joint call for policymakers to move ahead with wine truth-in-labeling.

Results from a recent poll of U.S. consumers, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, released today found that Americans, in particular, have very strong feelings about the role of location in making wine-purchasing decisions. Key findings from the poll of 1,000 U.S. wine drinkers include:

• 79% say they consider the region from which a wine comes an important factor when buying a bottle of wine.

• 75% say they would be less likely to buy a wine if they learned it claimed to be from a place like Champagne, Napa Valley or Oregon, but in actuality was not.

• 84% say they think the region a wine comes from is extremely important in determining its quality.

• 96% say consumers deserve to know the location where wine grapes are grown is accurately stated on wine labels.

• 98% say they support establishing worldwide standards for all winemakers that would require they accurately state the location where wine grapes are grown on wine labels.

"In over 20 years of polling, rarely have we seen such strong feelings on an issue like this," said Rob Autry, partner of Public Opinion Strategies and the lead pollster on this project. "Consumer sentiment this strong is a clear signal that Americans care a great deal about the location a wine comes from and clearly want ready access to that information when looking at a bottle.

The poll was released by the signatories to the Joint Declaration to Protect Wine Place & Origin, a coalition first formed in 2005 when the initial global declaration was signed. The organization has since doubled in size, welcoming its two newest members -- Long Island and Rioja, Spain -- at this year's meeting.

Says Ron Goerler Jr., president of the Long Island Wine Council, “The signatories of the Joint Declaration to Protect Wine Place & Origin have worked to produce world-class wine regions and preserve the integrity of our unique vines and lands. United with Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Jerez and the many other wine regions across the globe, we are committed to educating consumers about the importance of location.”

"The 15 regions gathered here today agree that great wine is made in unique places all over the world and that these unique place names must be protected. A failure to do so undermines all of these wine-growing regions and, as the research shows, runs counter to the expectations of the consumer," said Bruno Paillard, representing the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne. "People want to know where their wines come from."

The 15 international wine regions including Long Island; Champagne, France; Chianti Classico, Italy; Jerez, Spain; Napa Valley, California; Oregon; Paso Robles, California; Porto, Portugal; Rioja, Spain; Sonoma County, California; Tokaj, Hungary; Victoria, Australia; Walla Walla Valley, Washington; Washington state; and Western Australia.

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