There are regulations for the display of medals or awards on wine labels and it can be costly to correct should you breach the rules.
It is best to avoid displaying any medals, stickers, trophies or other similar images that may incorrectly suggest that a wine has received an award in a fair and independent competition when it has not.
Certain international markets will prevent the sale of wine as the result of non-compliance with medal or award claim regulations. Some markets require exporters to substantiate award claims, while others restrict the display of awards all together.
The Australian wine sector has developed a Display of Awards Code of Practice (the Code), which is a sound guide to best practice and while it was developed with the Australian market in mind it is a good guide for labelling wherever awards can be considered.
The following is a summary of the Code:
- Medals, stickers, trophies or other devices cannot be used to misleadingly imply that a wine has received an award in an open, objective and independent competition.
- If the wine has received an award, the competition or show name, as well as the year of the award should be displayed.
- Collective awards, such as ‘Winemaker of the Year’, cannot be displayed on labels in a way that suggests that an individual wine has received an award.
- The use of gold, silver and bronze discs or in combination with a black disc to promote anniversaries, events, sponsorship and the like is not acceptable.
- Exceptions to the use of metallic discs include using the discs in a way that is clearly not a medal, using them in a brand crest or on a wine that is not intended for resale.
- Australian wine shows require all participants comply with the Wine Industry Display of Awards Code of Practice. Disqualification may result from non-compliance.
For further information, please refer to the Wine Industry Display of Awards Code of Practice online here.