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Australian Wine Law Steve Guy, April 07 Jessica Pater Understanding Compliance Requirements June 28 2006 Australian Success Factors High proportion of the internationally recognised grape varieties Highly educated workforce Outstanding Research and Development capabilities Industry unity

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jessica pater

Australian Wine Law

Steve Guy, April 07

Jessica Pater

Understanding Compliance Requirements

June 28 2006

australian success factors
Australian Success Factors
  • High proportion of the internationally recognised grape varieties
  • Highly educated workforce
  • Outstanding Research and Development capabilities
  • Industry unity
  • Ability to supply large supermarkets with branded product- critical mass in large exporters
  • Flexible regulatory environment allowing for innovation in winemaking and marketing
  • Robust export controls
  • Diversity of wine styles and wine regions- quality/value
  • Offer branded product rather than wines classified by appellation

Australian Wine Law

  • AWBC Act 1980 and Regulations (Federal)
  • Food Standards (FSANZ / States)
  • Trade Measurement Packaging legislation (States)
  • Trade Practices Act (Federal)
  • State Consumer Laws

Wine Labels Overview

  • Before a wine can be exported, it must;
    • Comply with the Food Standards Code,
    • Comply with the Blending Rules (Label Integrity), and
    • Then comply with the requirements of the importing country.

The Blending Rules

Any claim must be listed in descending order of its proportion in the wine


Foreign Wine

Beyond Boundaries

  • What is the minimum amount of foreign wine that needs to be declared?

The name and proportion of the blend produced in each country must be displayed in descending order.



Wine of Australia (99%) Chile (1%)


The Label Integrity Program


  • Label Claims are not mandatory however, if a label claim is to be made, then an audit trail from finished product back to grape purchase must exist to substantiate any claim.
  • The Label Integrity Program does NOT prescribe HOW records are to be kept, only the information that must be recorded – this gives winemakers complete flexibility in choosing a system that best suits their needs.
  • NOTE: Receipt of ALL grapes and grape products at a winery must be recorded even if no label claim is to be made.

Wine Labels Overview – Brand Names

Coonawarra = 30%

Use of a Trade Mark in a misleading manner is a false description.

Coonawarra Slopes™


Cabernet Sauvignon

750 mL


Wine Labels Overview – Protected Names

Protected names are listed on a register as a means of formalising and protecting both Australian & agreement country’s GI’s and TE’s.

It is a false description to use a protected name in any context, true or not.

Holy Grail

South Eastern Australia

2002 Shiraz Grenache

This classic ‘Rhone style’ blend of Shiraz and Grenache from the excellent 2002 vintage has produced a soft dry red with excellent length of flavour on the palate.



Wine Labels Overview – Medals

  • Medals do not comply with the WFA Code of Practice.
  • Gold, bronze or silver discs must not be used for any other purpose such as anniversaries, events etc.
  • Only wine shows which enforce the Code of Practice will be authorised by the AWBC for display on EU labels.

Best Exhibitor

Holy Grail

Winery of the Year


Cabernet Shiraz

Since 1979

750 mL


Allergens & Health Warnings

  • Allergen labelling mandatory in Australia
    • Must declare the presence of
      • Cereals containing gluten
      • Egg products
      • Fish products
      • Milk products
      • Nut products
    • Even when used as a processing aid
  • Sulphites statement mandatory in EU from 2005, other allergens exempt at least until November 2007.

- France: Health Warning for pregnant women (Oct 2007).

- UK: Looking at introducing a health warning + standard drinks labelling.

- Finland: Looking to introduce two health statements.

  • Health Warning in US for many years. Allergens will be introduced in the United States in 2007.
  • Allergens labelling creates problems in Asian markets.

Licence to Export

Exporter sends application & relevant docs

AWBC issues licence


Product Approval

Exporter sends product, labels & analysis

AWBC checks blend vs label, analysis & evaluates

AWBC sends approval

Shipment Approval

Exporter submits Shipping App

AWBC checks & issues permit no.

Exporter submits permit to ACS.

EU. AWBC sends VI1 Certificate

EU. Exporter submits NATA VI1 Analysis

Export Process

export controls
Export Controls
  • License
  • Product must be tasted
  • Shipments must be approved
  • For shipments of bulk wine, consignee must also be approved

Bulk Wine Procedures

Developed to…

Manage the potential threat to the image of Australian winewhich may arise from the uncontrolled handling, storage and bottling of the bulk wine.


Bulk Wine Procedures

Consignee must be:

  • Approved prior to export
  • Accredited to (or working towards):
    • BRC (British Retail Consortium) technical standard; or
    • ISO 22000 standard; or
    • HACCP & ISO 9000 standards; or
    • International Food Standard (IFS); or
    • A standard ‘equivalent’ to the BRC.

* Exemptions made where wine is:

    • not identified as Australian (ISO 9000 or HACCP).
    • used in a food product.
    • used for sacramental purposes.

Bulk Wine Procedures

Bulk Returns

  • Randomly requested from bulk shipments.
  • 2 fully dressed samples are returned along with the bulk return declaration.
  • Allowed four months to return samples.
  • Wine is tasted and label checked.
  • Consignee may be suspended if quality problems identified.

AWBC Website

  • For further information on:
  • Wine Law, making & labelling
  • GI names and maps
  • Label Integrity Program
  • Exporting Wine
  • Export Market Guides
  • Information, statistics & publications
  • Visit :