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The case of the blue grape

It was early in 2015, a few months prior to opening the doors to Five Sons Winery and RG Brewery. I had to go through the process of having the winery labels approved by the TTB.

The process was not too hard, although there are a lot of rules about what can and cannot be on a wine label, what font, the size of the font, required information and so on. I muddled my way through the process and corrected the label if it was rejected. I had approval on most of the wine labels that we needed to open the winery. That was until the Patriot Label.

When we first opened the winery I had back labels on our wine bottles, not shown here, on these back labels had a pretty detailed description of the wines. For the Patriot Blend I explained in this description that the wine was made by blending three native grape varieties, a red grape, a white grape and a blue grape. That is how we came up with the name Patriot blend.

I went through the process of submitting this label for approval. I made sure the label had where it was produced, the government warning, the volume, contains sulfites, the artwork and the description on the back label. It was rejected. No big deal, I thought, I probably just forgot something. I checked out what I need to fix and the agent left a note that the label was rejected because there is no such thing as a blue grape. Okay, I'm thinking a simple google search would have clarified that but maybe the agent didn't have the time. So I gathered information for her proving the existence of blue grapes from multiple sources and resubmitted the application with the information. If you are also skeptical here is a link listing some varieties of blue grapes for your enjoyment:

I sent the information feeling confident that it would clear up any misunderstanding about the existence of the blue grape. Nope, rejected again. This time I got a nasty comment attached to the rejection stating that it's false advertisement to state blue grape on the label since blue grapes don't exist. Did she not read any of the three sources I attached proving the existence of blue grapes? I tried to make phone contact to no avail so I submitted again this time clearly spelling out the proof of blue grapes that was in the links I previously provided in the comment section of the application just in case she missed the links. Again, rejected for the same reason. I withdrew the application, waited a few weeks and submitted a brand new application hoping it would get reviewed by a different agent. Sure enough, it was a different agent and it was immediately approved.

The moral of the story is that we all have something to learn. Those that refuse to look at information which is contrary to their perception of reality and see how new information may change that perception, will never grow as a person. I am not really sure what the problem was with not accepting the factual information I presented and I find it sad that there are people who are so determined to be right that they reject truth. We should instead embrace the phrase "you learn something new everyday" with the humility that we do have a lot to learn and in learning we grow into the best versions of ourselves.

So, yes, we still make our Patriot Blend wine and it is made by blending red, white and blue grape varieties. Cheers!

P.S. The artwork on our Patriot Blend wine label is stunning, isn't it? It was painted by Shawna Merritt, the owner of Creative Inking Tattoo shop.

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2 comentarios

What a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing!

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Aimee Mesiti
Aimee Mesiti
06 abr 2023
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You are welcome, it's always an adventure :)

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