From producer to grape variety, vintage and alcohol level, wine labels can tell you a lot about the wine you are about to drink. Depending on the origin of the wine, certain mandatory wine labelling requirements apply, as Colombe Dougnac explains.
For a wine to comply with labelling regulations, specific information is mandated by the relevant authorities. Mandatory wine labelling requirements can vary depending on the origin of that wine: new world or old. Wines originating from France, for example, must include nine specific fields as of 8 December this year.
The first of these mandated fields is information relating to the bottler and whether the wine is within or outside a geographical indication (GI).
As specified by France’s consumer affairs body (the Direction Générale de la Concurrence, de la Consommation et de la Répression des Fraudes or DGCCRF), the name and address of the bottler (natural person, legal entity or group) must be preceded by the terms ‘bottler’ or ‘bottled by’.
For wines with a protected designation of origin (PDO) or Indication Géographique Protégée (IGP), additional conditions apply in line with Decree No. 2012-655 of 4 May 2012 relating to the labelling and traceability of vitivinicultural products and certain oenological practices. In particular, the name of the bottler may be replaced by terms subject to compliance with certain operating conditions, namely:
- ‘Bottled at the château or at the estate’ when vinification and bottling take place on the estate;
- ‘Bottled at the property’ when vinification and bottling take place on the farm and in the cooperative winery. The latter is most often considered as an extension of the wine-growing estate which partly owns it, provided that the harvests are well distinguished and vinified separately. For cooperative union wines, this mention is a priori not recommended.
- ‘Bottled in the region of production’ when bottling takes place in the geographical area of production.
French wine labelling requirements: Eight additional mandatory fields
The above information, which must be indicated on every label, comes in addition to eight other wine labelling requirements which will be mandatory from 8 December 2023. These are:
- Sales denomination
- Acquired alcoholic strength by volume (TAVA), the nominal volume
- Presence of allergens
- Batch number
- Health message
- List of ingredients
- Nutrition declaration
To find out more about your local wine labelling requirements, speak to your Novagraaf attorney or contact us below.
Colombe Dougnac is a European Trademark and Design Attorney based in Novagraaf’s Bordeaux office.