This is the great conundrum of the regional wine business. The best way for local wineries to market their product is to proclaim its local-ness. But, given the way the wine business works, their wine may not be made with local grapes, but with grapes or juice imported from California or even Europe. Confused? It gets worse. Federal law allows wineries to be appropriately vague about whether the wine is made with local grapes.
All in all, regional wine labeling is a maze that consumers (many of whom aren't sure how to read a wine label to begin with) don't know they have to negotiate. After the jump -- how labeling laws work, what to look for on a regional wine label, and why so many wineries take advantage of this gray area.