Wine Production Standard

The manufacture and labelling of wine in Australia is regulated by Federal and State laws. The below information is a guide to provide wine producers with a general overview of legislative requirements related to wine production.

Food Standard 4.5.1

In Australia, wine production is governed by Standard 4.5.1 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code). This standard is unique in that it only applies to wine goods produced in Australia, whereas other standards related to wine apply to both Australian and New Zealand produced wines.   

Wine Australia administers compliance with the Code, including Standard 4.5.1, for Australian exported grape products.  Regulation 6A of the Australian Grape and Wine Authority Regulations 1981 requires that a grape product must comply with the Code if it is to be exported. 

Within the domestic market, compliance of wine goods with the Food Standards Code is administered by specific state and territory based agencies - refer to the Food Standards Code website for further information.  

Definitions under the standard

Wine means the product of the complete or partial fermentation of fresh grapes, or a mixture of that product and products derived solely from grapes.  

Sparkling wine means the product consisting of wine that by complete or partial fermentation of contained sugars has become surcharged with carbon dioxide. Sparkling wine may contain grape spirit, brandy and sugars. Sparkling wine must contain no less than 5 g/L of carbon dioxide at 20°C.

Fortified wine means the product consisting of wine to which has been added grape spirit, brandy or both. Fortified wine may also contain caramel.

Grape spirit means the spirit obtained from the distillation of wine or the by-products of winemaking or the fermented liquor of a mash of dried grapes and contains methanol in a proportion not exceeding 3 g/L at 20°C of the ethanol content.

Brandy means the spirit obtained by the distillation of wine in such a manner as to ensure that the spirit possesses the taste, aroma and other characteristics generally attributed to brandy, in accordance with the following requirements:

  • Brandy must be matured in wooden containers for no less than 2 years; and
  • must contain no less than 250 mL/L of the spirit distilled at a strength of no more than 830 mL/L at 20°C of ethanol; and
  • may contain:
    • water; and
    • caramel; and
    • sugars; and
    • grape juice and grape juice concentrates;
    • wine; and
    • prune juice; and
    • honey; and
    • flavourings; and
  • must not contain methanol in a proportion exceeding 3 g/L at 20°C of the ethanol content thereof. 

(wine product is defined under Standard 2.7.4-2 and means a food containing no less than 700 mL/L of wine, which has been formulated, processed, modified or mixed with other foods such that it is not wine.)

Wine Composition Parameters under the standard

Analytical Parameter Specification Minimum Specification Maximum

Alcohol

   
Wine 4.5%  
Sparkling Wine 4.5%  
Fortified Wine 15% 22%
Methanol    
White Wine& White Sparkling Wine   3g/L of ethanol
Other products   3g/L of ethanol
Sodium Chloride   1 g/L
Potassium Sulphate   2 g/L
Phosphorus   400 mh/L
Volatile Acidity   1.5 g/L
Cyanides   0.1 mg/L
Water Added water in proportion not exceeding 70 ml/L where that water is necessary for the incorporation of any substance specified in clause 3 or clause 5, additives and processing aids or where that water is incidental to the winemaking process and where the presence of water in wine is in conformance with good manufacturing process.

Additives

A food additive is any substance not normally consumed as a food in itself and not normally used as an ingredient of food, but which is intentionally added to a food to achieve a technological function (for example: antioxidant, preservative).  It or its by-products may remain in the food.

Clause 3 of Standard 4.5.1 lists the approved additives for the production of wine, sparkling wine and fortified wine. The complete table can be found via the Food Standards Australia New Zealand webpage or Wine Australia Compliance Guide

Processing Aids

Processing aids are substances used in the processing of raw materials, foods or ingredients, to fulfil a technological purpose relating to treatment or processing, but does not perform a technological function in the final food. The substance is used in the course of manufacture of a food at the lowest level necessary to achieve a function in the processing of that food, irrespective of any maximum permitted level specified.

Clause 4 of Standard 4.5.1 lists the approved processing aids for the production of wine, sparkling wine and fortified wine. The complete table can be found via the Food Standards Australia New Zealand webpage or Wine Australia Compliance Guide.