Confusion in the Marketplace

As we anticipated Foster Beer is putting  out a wine label ‘ Santa Barbara Wine Company’ which is totally confusing, not only to the consumer, but people in the industry as well. In the short time since the company’s announcement many store and restaurant owners have been in contact with us all in agreement that this is pure exploitation. We have also received several calls from consumers wishing to participate in the Film Festival promotion that Foster is using to introduce their new wine label. The Santa Barbara Wine Company label emphasizes ‘Santa Barbara’ and ‘Wine Company’ is an afterthought. You can see it here (we hesitate to post it)

We have been in touch with Congresswoman Lois Capps asking that she make enquiries with the ATF, the department in Treasury that controls label approval, to clarify their policy with regards to labels with similar names. The ATF needs to approve, not only names, but, content, letter size and even artwork.

We are represented in all but a few states and although the confusion is huge here it can only be worse where our wines are not as well known. ‘Santa Barbara Winery’ has been our label for over 40 years. This is the first time that we have faced this kind of challenge.

A challenge from a huge Beer and Wine conglomerate who, after many focus group sessions, determined that ‘Santa Barbara’ scored well. To add insult to injury, the grapes may be from Santa Barbara, but the wine is made in Templeton, San Luis Obispo and bottled in Napa.

1 Responses to “Confusion in the Marketplace”


  • As a local wine lover, member at Lafond, and California wine blogger, I find these developments outrageous and deeply upsetting. Might I make a few suggestions.

    1. Contact as many American wine bloggers as possible to join the cause and spread the word.
    2. Encourage a grass roots movement of your fans to contact the Santa Barbara Film Festival who named the imposter wine company as their official wine sponsor (a fact almost as outrageous as their abuse of the Santa Barbara name) and protest it’s use as anti-local and anti-Santa Barbara.
    3. Encourage other Santa Barbara County wine makers to get involved. This attack effects you the most, but ALL Santa Barbara wine makers as well. Maybe a local event in support of Santa Barbara Winery would be appropriate.

    I hope you can fight these developments for the sake of all local wine lovers!

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