Photo: Elements Margaret River
Photo: Elements Margaret River
31 Jul 2018
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Wine Australia receives hundreds of questions on many topics including labelling, market access, wine standards and production. We’re eager to help you understand the various requirements related to wine production and export, so if you’re unsure, just ask – there’s every chance someone else is wondering the same thing.

Here are some of the questions that have been asked recently:

Q: What’s the maximum alcohol percentage that a wine can have to be considered ‘low alcohol’?

A: The Food Standards Code (2.7.1-4) states that no alcoholic beverage above 1.15 per cent can be presented as being ‘low alcohol’.

Q: What degree of accuracy do I need to observe when considering the blending rules?

A: For a single vintage, variety or origin claim, ‘850ml/L’ (i.e. 85.0 per cent) of the wine’s composition must be from the vintage, variety or registered GI you intend to claim.

Q: Can we use a P.O. Box for our address on a label?

A: No; the Food Standards Code (1.2.2-4) requires that your address must be a physical business location; this is a mandatory labelling requirement.

Q: Is it true that a carbonated wine can’t be labelled as a ‘sparkling’?

A: Yes. The Food Standards Code (4.5.1) defines a ‘sparkling wine’ as one with effervescence obtained through fermentation of sugars; a carbonated wine doesn’t meet this description.

Q: Can I drop the ‘Sauvignon’ from Cabernet Sauvignon on my label?

A: Yes, ‘Cabernet’ is a synonym for Cabernet Sauvignon. You couldn’t however call it just ‘Sauvignon’ – as this is a synonym for Sauvignon Blanc. The list of varieties and their synonyms can be found here.

Q: Can I export a wine with only a back label?

A: Yes, provided the packaging complies with the Food Standards Code (i.e. all the mandatory information is present). We offer a label opinion service and are happy to provide guidance on your wine packaging to ensure you meet requirements.

There’s a vast amount of information available on our website – particularly relating to labelling requirements and export requirements for different markets – but if you can’t find what you’re looking for or if anything is unclear, let us know via audit@wineaustralia.com or (08) 8228 2000.


This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.

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This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.