The Register of Protected Geographical Indications and Other Terms (Register) is a register kept by Wine Australia in accordance with sections 40ZC and 40ZD of the Wine Australia Act 2013 (the Act).
The Register contains a list of geographical indications (GIs) and traditional wine terms that are protected under Australian law. The Register consists of four parts. They are:
Part 1 - Australian geographical indications and foreign country geographical indications (and translations)
Part 2 - Traditional expressions relating to wines originating in a foreign country and any conditions of use applicable to those expressions
Part 3 - Quality wine terms for wines originating in Australia and any conditions of use applicable to those terms (these are all traditional terms used for Australian fortified wine).
Part 4 - Additional terms and any conditions of use applicable to those terms (includes Icewine, Methode Champenoise, Moscato).
Using protected GIs and other terms
The Register contains protected Australian and European GIs and other terms including European traditional expressions, Australian fortified wine terms and additional terms.
According to section 40D of the Act, unless an exception can be applied, the description and presentation of a wine is false if it includes a registered GI, and the wine did not originate in that GI.
According to section 40F, the description and presentation of a wine is misleading if it includes a registered GI is used in a way that is likely to mislead as to the country, region or locality in which the wine originated.
In both cases, the definitions also extend to the use of traditional expressions, quality wine terms and additional terms where the wine is not a wine in relation to which the relevant expression/term is registered.
Part VIB of the Act makes it an offence to sell, export or import a wine with a false or misleading description and presentation. The rules apply even when a protected term is accompanied by expressions such as ‘kind’, ‘type’, ‘style’, ‘imitation’, ‘method’, or any such similar expression, and even when a term ‘so resembles’ a protected term in a way that is likely to mislead. Accordingly, descriptors such as ‘Barossa style’ or ‘Champagne method’ are not permitted, regardless of whether they are likely to mislead as to origin.
There are exceptions to the offence provisions for:
- GIs registered for more than one place
- inclusion of the name of an individual who manufactured, sold, exported or imported the wine
- inclusion of the address of a winery at which the wine was manufactured
- common English words that are used in good faith and where the label indicates the true origin of the wine.
Read more on frequently asked questions about using protected terms here. See further information here for some examples of labels described and presented with GIs in breach of the Act.
Selling, exporting or importing wine with a false or misleading description and presentation can result in a maximum penalty of two years’ jail, or a fine of 120 penalty units instead of, or additional to imprisonment for each offence. Wine Australia may also cancel or suspend an export licence.