Beyond the label – it’s not only a name…

24 Nov 2017
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As the warmer weather hits, so too does the urge to grab a glass of something fizzy, pink or perhaps even both!

Two of the most sought-after wines for enjoying in the sun are Moscato and Alicante Bouschet, but did you know these are more than just great sounding names? In fact, the names may only be used if the wine is made from the corresponding prescribed grape varieties.

Moscato

Moscato must be made from at least 85 per cent of varieties within the Muscat family and if a claim is made of a specific Muscat variety, for example Moscato Giallo, then the wine must contain at least 85 per cent Moscato Giallo (Regulation 20).

Wine Australia considers the following (with any valid synonyms) to be Muscat varieties:

  • Muscat a Petits Grains (‘red’, ‘white’ and ‘brown’ variants including ‘frontignac’ synonyms)
  • Muscat of Alexandria (Muscat Gordo and synonyms)
  • Muscat Hamburg
  • Orange Muscat
  • Morio Muskat
  • Moscato Giallo
  • Canada Muscat
  • Diamond Muscat
  • Summer Muscat
  • Gewürtztraminer
  • Sun Muscat
  • Hawson's Seedless Muscat, and
  • Muscat Ottonel

The variety Muscat Gordo Blanco is in fact one of Australia’s longest-planted varieties, but there is now less of the variety planted today then there was in 1973. However, it is currently enjoying a renewed popularity thanks to Moscato. In 2017, the crush of Muscat Gordo Blanco increased by 24 per cent, while the crush of its fellow muscat variety Muscat a Petit Grains Blanc increased by 16 per cent. Together they accounted for over 90 per cent of the 100,000 tonnes of Muscat varieties crushed.

Alicante Bouschet

Alicante Bouschet is the name of a vine variety, so the name may only be used if the wine is made from at least 85 per cent Alicante Bouschet.

A lesser known fact is that Alicante is a registered Geographical Indication (GI) of Spain, meaning that the word ‘Alicante’ in any context other than referring to the grape variety name ‘Alicante Bouschet’ can only be used if the wine originated within the GI of Alicante (interesting to note that Alicante Bouschet is not an allowed variety in the region of Alicante).

So, next time you reach for a bottle, take a moment to think about what’s behind the name.

For all enquiries and advice relating to use of varieties, protected terms and labelling, feel free to contact Wine Australia’s Regulatory Services team on (08) 8228 2000 or audit@wineaustralia.com.