What single word can be used to describe a colour, a fruit, a juice and a grape growing region in New South Wales? Well, the headline kind of gives it away, the answer is orange.
Orange became a registered geographical indication (GI) on 31 October 1997, and as such is afforded the same level of protection as all other registered GIs.
In the interest of getting to the point, the term ‘orange wine’ therefore cannot be used to describe skin contact whites, unless the fruit has been sourced from the GI of Orange.
An exemption does exist to allow for the use of a ‘common English word’, which clearly orange qualifies for. However, it must be used in good faith, and in such a way that is not likely to mislead as to the origin of the wine.
Describing or presenting a wine as ‘orange’ or ‘orange wine’ is not sufficient to convey that orange is describing the colour. So, it would be fair to say that a consumer could equally think the wine is from Orange the region, or that orange is referring to the colour or wine style.
To make it abundantly clear to the consumer that orange is being used to describe colour there must be sufficient context to support the claim, i.e. ‘Wine with an orange hue’ or ‘orange in colour’.
As it is a registered GI, it is an offence to call a wine ‘orange’ unless at least 85 per cent of the fruit used to make the wine was sourced from within the Orange GI.
Amber is a possible replacement for orange when presenting or describing skin contact whites, or wines that are amber in colour.
Make amber the new orange.