The blending rules relating to vintage claims are generally well understood. For a single vintage claim, 85 per cent of the wine must comprise that vintage year.
However, other years might also be referred to on wine labels. For example, to indicate when the winery was established, when a vineyard was planted, or when the winemaker joined the winery. When such references are made, it’s important to make sure that they won’t be interpreted as vintage claims.
To ensure reference to a year that isn’t a vintage year is permissible, you must:
- give context to the non-vintage year (for example, use words like ‘planted in’, ‘established in’ or ‘produced since’)
- ensure the actual vintage claim is clearly stated
- ensure the actual vintage claim appears in the same field of vision as the reference to the other year, and
- ensure the actual vintage claim is more prominent than the reference to the other year.
If you don’t ensure all these items are covered off, your label might be considered non-compliant with the blending rules, and you might need to relabel.
If you’re uncertain about vintage claims or labelling in general, guidance is always available from the Regulatory Services Team via email or 08 8228 2000.