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Matteo_Lahm

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It sounds good to me. While not quite in the same arena, I made a blend of 40% Zin, 40% Merlot, 20% Bordeaux grapes, which I really like. Depending on the ratio of Zin in this kit, I expect it will have characteristic Zin fruitiness with extra backbone from the other grapes.

@Matteo_Lahm, can you post the varietal ratios of the blend kits? I expect that will be helpful to folks in deciding what to buy.
@Matteo_Lahm Does the Sonoma blend use Sonoma juice? Implicitly it should, but the description only says that this blend was popularized in Sonoma.
The name is referential to the blend because that is where it originated but not the juice itself. In the future I expect we will be able to expand enough to start offering regional specific varietals but that will take time. For now we are coming up with our own versions of regional blends. A few of the new ones are really good and original. We will announce more in the coming weeks. Anyway, for now I am trying to source Sangiovese and Montepulciano from Italy. Italian concentrates will likely be our first International juices.

Blend percentages:
Sonoma is 60/20/20 zin, petite. syrah
Meritage is 60/40 cab, merlot
Baby Super Tuscan is 60/40 Syrah, Merlot
 

ratflinger

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Just curious: Are you paying the licensing fee to the Meritage Alliance for using that term, or are you winging it?
May not apply as FWK is selling juice that qualifies as a 'Meritage Blend' and 'Meritage' is licensed by the case of wine produced. I'd say that if you used FWK kits to make retail wine then you are responsible for joining and paying the license fee.
 

sour_grapes

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May not apply as FWK is selling juice that qualifies as a 'Meritage Blend' and 'Meritage' is licensed by the case of wine produced. I'd say that if you used FWK kits to make retail wine then you are responsible for joining and paying the license fee.

I agree with "may not apply." But, of course, it also "may apply."
 

ratflinger

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I agree with "may not apply." But, of course, it also "may apply."
Depends upon the lawyers probably. If you look at the Meritage licensing agreement it only talks about wine produced, nothing about juice, other than the allowable varietals for the blending. And seeing the number of varietals allowed I don't see how they can spec any of it as a brand. Worse comes to worse then FWK could just call it a Cab/Merlot blend, at 60/40 and give the Meritage Alliance the finger.
 

3dB

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When I'm not making wine, I'm a trademark lawyer. ;)

Meritage is the subject of US Trademark Office Registration #1753058. It is a "certification mark," which means the owner of the trademark does not prohibit others from using the mark in connection with identified goods and services (the normal function of a trademark), but rather they exercise control over the quality of goods marketed using the mark, or certify that they meet some standard. The Bluetooth logo is a good example -- to use it, the product must meet certain technical specifications.

The trademark, and the Meritage Assoc. licensing agreement, are both limited to the sale of wine in interstate commerce. As ratflinger astutely notes, grape juice is not wine. Neither FWK nor we are required to obtain a license to use the term in association with wine we make for non-commercial use.

To be good neighbors to our winery brothers, we probably should (but are not required to) limit any use of the term to the type of wine they define it be:
Red Wine: blend of two or more of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Carmener, with no other variety in the blend, and no single variety making more than 90% of the blend.
White wine: blend of two or more of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillion, and Muscadelle du Bordelai, with the same conditions.

The registration certificate further stipulates that wine marketed under the mark is "blended one hundred percent from classic Bordeaux grape varieties grown in the United States." So if the wine is not 100% from domestically grown grapes, the US trademark is unenforceable against it, even for commercial sales.
 
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The trademark, and the Meritage Assoc. licensing agreement, are both limited to the sale of wine in interstate commerce.
Emphasis mine. THAT is an interesting distinction. If a US winery is selling solely in state, they are exempt. While that seems like an error in the licensing agreement, it's likely there to address a more significant problem (whatever that may be). IIRC, the MA is based in CA, so the idea of selling only in state is a much lesser concern.

To be good neighbors to our winery brothers, we probably should (but are not required to) limit any use of the term to the type of wine they define it be:
I'm in conflict. In 2020 I made a Meritage that is 67% Merlot and 33% CS, CF, Malbec, and Petit Verdot. That one is in compliance.

What's in my glass right now is Meritage Plus, which is 40% Merlot, 40% Zinfandel, and 20% above Bordeaux blend.
 

BPL

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The name is referential to the blend because that is where it originated but not the juice itself. In the future I expect we will be able to expand enough to start offering regional specific varietals but that will take time. For now we are coming up with our own versions of regional blends. A few of the new ones are really good and original. We will announce more in the coming weeks. Anyway, for now I am trying to source Sangiovese and Montepulciano from Italy. Italian concentrates will likely be our first International juices.

Blend percentages:
Sonoma is 60/20/20 zin, petite. syrah
Meritage is 60/40 cab, merlot
Baby Super Tuscan is 60/40 Syrah, Merlot
Sangiovese and Montepulciano from Italy, huh? Sign me up, 1 of each please-but don't tell my CFO. :)
 

Wayne Freeman

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The name is referential to the blend because that is where it originated but not the juice itself. In the future I expect we will be able to expand enough to start offering regional specific varietals but that will take time. For now we are coming up with our own versions of regional blends. A few of the new ones are really good and original. We will announce more in the coming weeks. Anyway, for now I am trying to source Sangiovese and Montepulciano from Italy. Italian concentrates will likely be our first International juices.

Blend percentages:
Sonoma is 60/20/20 zin, petite. syrah
Meritage is 60/40 cab, merlot
Baby Super Tuscan is 60/40 Syrah, Merlot

Sign me up for the Montepulciano, too!
 

FredTheNuke

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What to do when the Rocket blasts off before you put the fuel in it? LoL. [disclaimer - not at all worried about Labelpeelers making it right if that is what is needed - I'm sure they would].

So I picked up 2 of the Tavola Sangiovese kits when they were on sale. Delivered mid July. Bought 1 pack of wine skins for each. Put everything in the freezer. Last week I received my Super Tuscan kit. Put it in the freezer until Friday evening. Saturday I made the kits and starters - followed instructions exactly including Packet A. Small basement bathroom with an oil filled heater set at 77 degrees as the basement is 65 year round.

Sunday (today) must temp was about 77 to 78 and starters were good. BUT one Sangiovese kit was already bubbling away - like quite a bit... The other was silent. The Super Tuscan has some frothing when I punched down the grape skins and added yeast to all 3.

So I wonder what I'm making in the one Sangiovese kit? This is my 14th or so FWK and all have come out great thus far! I'm more experienced in brewing. What would an "off" flavor wine taste like? With beer the smell and taste are easy to pinpoint. Maybe it will be some amazing wild yeast that kicked things off before the party started! Any thoughts on what to look for or how to know if the batch is no bueno would be awesome!
 
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Hey Matteo, wife keeps telling me to beg FWK's to move to a more user friendly label. The RJS and WE labels peel off quite easily without much residue, but she cusses the FWK labels. Since she is my label remover, please save me and move to a more user friendly option or else she's gonna quit on me lol...
 

AR324

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The name is referential to the blend because that is where it originated but not the juice itself. In the future I expect we will be able to expand enough to start offering regional specific varietals but that will take time. For now we are coming up with our own versions of regional blends. A few of the new ones are really good and original. We will announce more in the coming weeks. Anyway, for now I am trying to source Sangiovese and Montepulciano from Italy. Italian concentrates will likely be our first International juices.

Blend percentages:
Sonoma is 60/20/20 zin, petite. syrah
Meritage is 60/40 cab, merlot
Baby Super Tuscan is 60/40 Syrah, Merlot
Great. Thanks for the update. Any plans for a Dolcetto ? I would love a Dolcetto.
 

3dB

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THAT [interstate commerce] is an interesting distinction.
In practice, it's not. When used in the sense of establishing federal jurisdiction, "interstate commerce" means "all commerce Congress has the power to regulate," which is virtually synonymous with "all commerce in the USA." Like most areas of federal law (tax, wage & health, drugs, guns, etc.) trademark law fully applies to purely intra-state sales. Technically, there should be some interstate element lurking somewhere (e.g., some piece of equipment, office supplies, fertilizer, etc. crossed a state line at some point), but even if not, an intra-state sale "affects" interstate commerce, which the Supreme Court has found sufficient for federal law to apply.
 
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