Labelling and legislations

Labelling and legislations

There are generally two ways to make wine labels

One is the «clean front label». Who basically, has the minimum informations (Brand, type of wine, vintage, geographic indication) on the front and the rest on the back label. Has the advantage to be elegant at the first look and also cheaper and more sustainable if the wine is for different markets. The labeling for NZ and Australia would be the same. However, it would need different informations who change according the country of destination. To be clear, the clean front label allow you to keep the front label where ever it is going, and you will have only to change the back label.

The second type is the « single field of vision ».  Who has more informations on the front (net content, volume of alcohol and origin of the country). Those informations are still accepted in many countries, and add space in the back label.

Things who have to be on the label for NZ market: 

  • The brand
  • The word « wine »
  • The type of the wine
  • origin of the country: by NZ laws, it has to be 85% from the country indicated. It’s the same for the 19 geographic indications in NZ or to advise the origin of the block.
  • vintage
  • batch identification on label or bottle
  • sulphate declaration
  • producer (winery or brand or importer)
  • Allergens declaration (milk, milk products, egg, egg products, etc) except for isinglass who come from fish 
  • Standard drinks
  • Alcohol by volume

Promoting the « health » sides of alcohol is prohibited. To prevent excessive alcohol consumption some marketing strategy really have to be think twice and choose the right word. For example, you can right « lower on alcohol » but not « low alcohol ». Discounts can’t go up 25% etc. However warning logos of the pregnant woman, and cheers are optional in NZ at the moment…

Some special wines as sparkling, sweet, hight on alcohol wine have other rules proper to their category.

Oversea rules are so different so it’s better to check it with the importer of the country. It’s charing the responsibility as well. Rules are going from labels in other alphabet, to health warning sentences, to size of typo, to certificates, different tolerance of quantity for alcohol, indications, etc. A Wine Labelling Guide is available from NZ Winegrowers.


Wine labelling guide- NZ Winegrower