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Addition of a New Grape Variety Name for American Wines (99R-142P)

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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), Treasury.


Treasury decision, final rule.


The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) is adding a new name, “Dornfelder”, to the list of prime grape variety names for use in designating American wines. Dornfelder is a red variety, developed in Germany in 1955, currently grown commercially in the United States.


Effective February 12, 2001.

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Jennifer Berry, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, 111 W. Huron Street, Room 219, Buffalo, NY 14202-2301, (716) 551-4048.

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1. Background on Grape Variety Names

Under 27 CFR 4.23(b), a wine bottler may use a grape variety name as the designation of a wine if not less than 75 percent of the wine (51 percent in some circumstances) is derived from that grape variety. The wine must also be labeled with an appellation of origin. Under § 4.23(d), a bottler may use two or more grape variety names as the designation of a wine if all varieties are listed on the brand label and the percentage of the wine derived from each grape variety is shown on the label.

Treasury Decision ATF-370 (61 FR 522), January 8, 1996, adopted a list of grape variety names that ATF has determined to be appropriate for use in designating American wines. The list of prime grape names and their synonyms appears at § 4.91, while additional alternative grape names temporarily authorized for use are listed at § 4.92.

How May New Varieties Be Added to the List of Prime Grape Names?

Under § 4.93 any interested person may petition ATF to include additional grape varieties in the list of prime grape names. Information with a petition should provide evidence of the following:

  • Acceptance of the new grape variety;
  • The validity of the name for identifying the grape variety;
  • Information that the variety is used or will be used in winemaking; and
  • Information that the variety is grown and used in the United States.

For the approval of names of new grape varieties, the petition may include:

  • A reference to the publication of the name of the variety in a scientific or professional journal of horticulture or a published report by a professional, scientific or winegrowers' organization;
  • A reference to a plant patent, if patented; and
  • Information about the commercial potential of the variety such as the acreage planted or market studies.

Section 4.93 also places certain restrictions on grape names that will be approved. A name will not be approved:

  • If it has previously been used for a different grape variety;
  • If it contains a term or name found to be misleading under § 4.39; or
  • If a name of a new grape variety contains the term “Riesling.”

The Director reserves the authority to disapprove the name of a grape variety developed in the United States if the name contains words of geographical significance, place names, or foreign words that are misleading under § 4.39.

2. Dornfelder Rulemaking


ATF received a petition proposing to add the name “Dornfelder” to the list of prime grape variety names approved for the designation of American wines. Mr. John Weygandt and Ms. Alice Weygandt of Stargazers Vineyard in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, submitted the petition.

According to information submitted by the petitioners, Dornfelder is a red variety, developed in Germany in 1955. It is a crossing of Helfenstein (a crossing of Fruhburgunder and Trollinger) and Heroldrebe (a crossing of Portugieser and Limberger). According to Jancis Robinson's Vines, Grapes and Wines (First American Edition 1986), Dornfelder is * * * perhaps Germany's most promising ‘new’ red crossing.” The name “Dornfelder” is derived from Imanuel Dornfeld, founding father of the Wurttemberg viticultural school during Start Printed Page 78096the mid-19th century. “Dornfelder” was approved as a varietal name under German wine regulations in 1980.

In the United States, the breeders have obtained plant variety protection through the Plant Variety Protection Act, 7 U.S.C. Chapter 57, until 2009. The petitioners planted 600 vines of this variety in 1997, which will bear a commercial crop in 2000. In addition, three other growers in the states of Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Michigan have planted this variety. Dornfelder plants have been offered for sale by American Nursery, located in California and Virginia, since 1996.

Notice No. 883

In Notice 883, published March 9, 2000, ATF proposed to add the name “Dornfelder” to the list of approved prime names in § 4.91. No comments were received. Because sufficient evidence was provided to satisfy the requirements under § 4.93, ATF is amending § 4.91 to include “Dornfelder” in the list of approved prime names for grape varieties.

3. Regulatory Analyses and Notices

Does the Paperwork Reduction Act Apply to This Final Rule?

The provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, and its implementing regulations, 5 CFR part 1320, do not apply to this notice because no requirement to collect information is proposed.

How Does the Regulatory Flexibility Act Apply to This Final Rule?

It is hereby certified that this regulation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This regulation will permit the use of the grape varietal name Dornfelder. No negative impact on small entities is expected. No new requirements are proposed. Accordingly, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required.

Is This a Significant Regulatory Action as Defined by Executive Order 12866?

This is not a significant regulatory action as defined by Executive Order 12866. Therefore, a regulatory assessment is not required.

4. Drafting Information

The principal author of this document is Jennifer Berry, Regulations Division, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

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List of Subjects in 27 CFR Part 4

  • Advertising
  • Consumer Protection
  • Customs duties and inspections
  • Imports
  • Labeling
  • Packaging and containers, and Wine
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Authority and Issuance

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Accordingly, 27 CFR part 4, Labeling and Advertising of Wine, is amended as follows:

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Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 4 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 27 U.S.C. 205.

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Par. 2. Section 4.91 is amended by adding the name “Dornfelder,” in alphabetical order, to the list of prime grape names, to read as follows:

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List of approved prime names.
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Bradley A. Buckles,


Approved: August 11, 2000.

John P. Simpson,

Deputy Assistant Secretary, (Regulatory, Tariff and Trade Enforcement).

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[FR Doc. 00-31486 Filed 12-13-00; 8:45 am]