European Union Wine Label Information | (2023)

The European Union (EU) is the world's largest wine economy, with roughly 70% of global production and 60% of global consumption. All 27 EU member states produce wine to some extent, and each has its own language, traditions and wine classifications. Maintaining consistency across the entire economic zone requires a set of overarching, EU-wide wine quality classifications and production laws. Until relatively recently, the EU classified wine quality into two categories: 'QWPSR' (Quality Wine Produced in a Specific Region) and 'Table Wine'. These were replaced in 2011 with PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) and PGI (Protected Geographical Indication), as explained below.

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The PDO and PGI logos in their English-language forms, with translations beneath:

European Union Wine Label Information | (1)

PDO (Protected Designation of Origin)

According to the EU definition, PDO products are "produced, processed and prepared in a given geographical area, using recognized know-how". Their quality and properties are significantly or exclusively determined by their environment, in both natural and human factors. The category is namedAppellation d’Origine Protégée(AOP) in French,Denominazione di Origine Protetta(DOP) in Italian andDenominación de Origen Protegida(DOP) in Spanish.

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Each EU country has its own quality categories which correspond to PDO. The most significant are:

  • France: AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée)
  • Italy: DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) and DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita)
  • Spain: DO (Denominación de Origen) and DOCa (Denominación de Origen Calificada)
  • Portugal: IPR (Indicação de Proveniência Regulamentada) and DOC (Denominacão de Origem Controlada)
  • Germany: QbA (Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete) and 'Prädikatswein' (formerly known as 'QmP' orQualitätswein mit Prädikat)
  • Austria:QualitätsweinandPrädikatswein, including DAC (Districtus Austriae Controllatus).

PGI (Protected Geographical Indication)

The EU definition of a PGI product is one closely linked to the geographical area in which it is produced, processed or prepared, and which has specific qualities attributable to that geographical area. The category is namedIndication Géographique Protégée(IGP) in French,Indicazione Geografica Protetta(IGP) in Italian andIndicación Geográfica Protegida(IGP) in Spanish.

Each EU country has its own quality categories which correspond to PGI. The most significant are:

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  • France:VDP (Vin de Pays)
  • Italy:IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica)
  • Spain:VT (Vino de la Tierra)
  • Portugal:VR (Vinho Regional)
  • Germany:Landwein
  • Austria:Landwein.

Although the PGI production rules are not as stringent as those applied to PDO wines, there are famous examples of PGI wines commanding more respect (and higher prices) than their PDO counterparts. This is particularly prevalent in Tuscany (seeToscana IGT).

Below is a wine label from France's Rhone Valley, with annotations highlighting the information required by EU wine labeling laws. Below that is an overview of the EU wine classifications prior to 2011.

European Union Wine Label Information | (2)

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Prior to 2011, all wine produced commercially within the EU fell into one of two categories: 'QWPSR' (Quality Wine Produced in a Specified Region) and the more basic 'Table Wine' (including 'Table Wine with a Geographical Indication').

QWPSR (Quality Wine Produced in a Specified Region)covered the same wine quality levels and types as PDO now does. The difference is that PDO covers all foodstuffs and beverages, rather than just wine. As clearly stated by its long title, QWPSR covered quality wines (i.e. those which met legally defined production standards) produced in officially delimited geographical areas. Its French translation was VQPRD (Vin de Qualité Produit dans une Région Déterminée). As is now the case with PDO, each EU country had its own classification/s (e.g. AOC in France, DOC and DOCG in Italy) which corresponded to QWPSR.

Table WineandTable Wine with a Geographical Indicationwere collectively replaced by PGI in 2011. The aim of this was to remove the word 'Table', along with its connotations of low quality, from the EU wine nomenclature. An additional benefit was that it solved the disparity between the European use of 'Table Wine' (basic, low-quality wine) and the American use (wine with an alcohol content below 14% ABV). Thus the phrasesVin de Table(France),Vino da Tavola(Italy),Vino de Mesa(Spain),Vinho de Mesa(Portugal) andTafelwein(Germany and Austria) are now legally obsolete. For more information on this, seeVin de FranceandVino da Tavola.

(Video) 03 b EU legislation on food information to consumers labelling, nutrition declaration, nutrition and

For country-specific information, see our pages about wine labels fromFrance,Italy,Spain,Germany,Austria,Australiaand theUSA.


What is required on an EU wine label? ›

What are the new EU wine labelling regulations? After December 8th, 2023 all wine bottles sold in the E.U., irrespective of country of origin, will be required to include ingredients, nutrition information, allergens, and energy information along with the product.

What are 4 items of information a wine label should include? ›

What Information Is Required on A Wine Label?
  • The name and address of the supplier or the bottler of the wine.
  • The country, or countries of origin (for instance, you may have a blend of wines from several countries)
  • The quantity of the product.
  • The alcoholic strength measured by volume as long as the wine is over 1.2%
Nov 2, 2020

What information can be found on wine labels? ›

The most obvious information on a typical wine label is its producer or brand name, region of origin, vintage, and often the grape variety or blend the wine is made from.

How is European wine labeling different from the US? ›

American labels include the type of grape used to make the wine. The variety of grape can only be listed on the label if the wine contains at least 75% of that variety. European labels don't usually mention the type of grape used to make the wine.

What are the 3 important parts of wine label? ›

These include the region of the grapes; the wine producer; and the wine importer. Keep in mind that these are not definite and can vary across producers. These factors are just common parts of a label that can guide you in your wine-buying process more times than not.

What 5 things must be on a label? ›

5 Basic Elements that MUST be on Your Food Label
  • Ingredients.
  • Sugar, fat, and sodium content.
  • Calorie counts and serving size.
  • Freshness.
  • Organic.
  • GMOs.
Jan 14, 2021

What information has to be on the label? ›

Generally speaking, labels for food products must advise consumers of the product ingredients (including potential allergens), the “best before” or “use by” date, country of origin, and nutrition information. The address of the manufacturer or distributor is also required.

What information should a label have? ›

A product label usually holds certain key information that includes: The name of the product. A logo for the larger brand, if the product is part of a line. Units of measurement that denotes the size, quantity or weight of the item.

What are the codes on wine bottles? ›

It refers to the bottling date. Most wineries display such codes as a way to trace wine back to the batch from which it was bottled. This can be critical in the event that a product recall becomes necessary.

How do you identify wine Notes? ›

A Wine Tasting Note in Four Parts
  1. Look: Observe wine in your glass.
  2. Smell: Identify five unique aromas in your wine.
  3. Taste: Quantify the traits of acidity, tannin, alcohol level, sweetness, and body.
  4. Think: Put it all together and refine your opinion.

What are the 4 V's of wine? ›

The 4 “V”s of wine
  • The Varietal.
  • The Vineyard.
  • The Vintner.
  • The Vintage.

Which details must be included on a label for bottled wine? ›

Oct 1, 2019

Why is it important to know the information on a wine label? ›

Arguably, the array of information on wine labels identifies the special qualities of a bottle's contents. Also, the information presented conveys a wine's character and helps make a statement to potential buyers.

Which of the following is not included in the wine label? ›

Three of the items that appear most commonly on wine labels are actually not part of that required list. Those three items are: vintage, varietal and appellation.

How do you tell what country a wine is from? ›

1. Country and region. Most wine labels will showcase the produce's country of origin, either at the top or the bottom of the label. If this country isn't obvious, it may in fact be because the producer has chosen to display the wine region instead.

Can you check wine from France to us? ›

There is no federal limit on the amount of alcohol a traveler may import into the United States for personal use, however, large quantities might raise the suspicion that the importation is for commercial purposes, and an U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer could require that you comply with the ...

What are the differences between Europe EC and EU? ›

European Commission represents the EU in trade negotiations whereas European Council participates in the legislation of matters pertaining to economic policies of the European Union. 2.

What does NV mean on a wine label? ›

It is as it says, a 'non-vintage' so not made from a singular year (vintage champagne) but instead is a blend several years of reserve wines (either in tank or barrel, some use a Solera system) to create a consistency that the consumer can identify with a certain style of the house.

What are the 5 guidelines in evaluating wine? ›

For those who are just getting into wine, the most common wine tasting approach you'll likely be told again and again is simply to remember The 5 S's– see, swirl, sniff, sip, and savor. This is a beginner approach to evaluating wine compared to more structured formats, like WSET's Systematic Approach to Tasting.

What are the 5 components of wine? ›

Well today, we're taking it back to basics, helping you understand the 5 main profile defining characteristics of wine. These five characteristics are, sweetness, acidity, tannin, alcohol and body.

What are the 7 mandatory label information? ›

These include the Product Name/ Name of the Food, Use of Brand Name and/or Trademark, Complete List of Ingredients, Net Contents and Drained Weight, Name and Address of Manufacturer, Repacker, Packer, Importer, Trader and Distributor, Lot Identification, Storage Condition, Expiry or Expiration Date), Food Allergen ...

What are the EU regulations on food Labelling? ›

Mandatory information must be printed using a font with a minimum x-height of 1.2 millimetres. If the largest surface area of packaging is less than 80 cm², you can use a minimum x-height of 0.9 mm. For packaging surface of less than 10 cm², you must list: name of the food.

What are the 4 types of labels? ›

There are four major types of labels that companies and small businesses are using for their products and operations: brand labels, informative labels, descriptive labels, and grade labels.

What are the numbers on wine labels? ›

Alcohol by Volume (ABV)

Usually found on the front or back corners of the label, ABV is the indication of how much alcohol is in the wine — 12.5% is low, and anything over 15% is a high alcohol content for wine.

What do the numbers on wine mean? ›

Originally, the number referred to the number of puttonyos, or buckets, of sweet botrytis-affected grapes called aszú that were added to a dry wine. The more that were added, the sweeter the final wine would be. The days of counting buckets have passed, so now the number refers to the wine's residual sugar.

What does A and B mean on a bottle? ›

Most of the bottles with the “AB-connected” or “conjoined AB” mark embossed on the bottom are handmade (mouth-blown) and were made to contain beer. They date from the circa 1905-1917 time period, and (possibly) primarily from an earlier stretch within those years: c.

How do you authenticate wine? ›

How You Can Spot Fake Wines
  1. Buy from a trustworthy source. Know the person you're purchasing from. ...
  2. Check the label paper. Blue lights can prove useful to assess authenticity. ...
  3. Look at the quality of the printing. ...
  4. Carefully evaluate the label aging. ...
  5. Confirm staining and branding on the cork. ...
  6. See the sediment.
Feb 15, 2018

How do you check a bottle of wine? ›

Alcoholic beverages with more than 24% but not more than 70% alcohol are limited in checked bags to 5 liters (1.3 gallons) per passenger and must be in unopened retail packaging. Alcoholic beverages with 24% alcohol or less are not subject to limitations in checked bags.

How do you tell if a wine is a fine wine? ›

First of all, what makes a wine fine is its taste.

Cheap mass-produced wine doesn't taste very good, it's simple, it's short, it's sometimes austere or harsh. Fine wine is balanced, it's well constructed in its flavor profile, it's complex, it's long and lingering when you taste it.

What does ABC mean in wine? ›

Anything But Chardonnay (ABC)

What is the 75 85 95 wine rule? ›

The 75-85-95% Rule for Wine Labels

To place a particular varietal (ex: Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay) on a label, 75% of the grapes must be that varietal. To place a particular AVA (American Viticultural Area) on the label (ex: Coombsville or Russian River Valley), 85% of the grapes must be grown in that region.

What is the ABC of wine? ›

There are Chardonnay lovers and Chardonnay haters around us all. You know them - the ABCs; people who will taste, order, and drink “Anything But Chardonnay” (ABC). To a percentage of the population, Chardonnay is one type/category of wine that they just will never, ever order.

What are some of the label requirements? ›

General labelling requirements

Name of the food product or where no name is known, a name or description of the food that clearly states the true nature of the food. Labels must tell the truth. Labels must be clear, in full view and in English.

What is required to be on a drink label? ›

Brand name. Name and addresses of bottler/packer/manufacturer/producer. Net content. Alcohol content.

What is the DOCG label on wine? ›

DOCG – Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita

This is the highest classification Italian wines can be awarded. DOCG are the best of Italian wines. The classification means that there are controlled production methods (controllata) and guaranteed wine quality (garantita) with each bottle.

What 2 legal labels requirements must be present on any alcoholic drink? ›

All beverages containing 0.5% or more ABV must include information on the label about the alcohol content (Standard 2.7. 1). For alcoholic beverages containing more than 1.15% ABV, the label must include the alcohol content as a percentage of ABV or mL/100 ml.

What pieces of information must be included on container labels? ›

This label must contain two key pieces of information: the identity of the hazardous chemical(s) in the container (e.g., chemical name) and the hazards present.


1. BEUC | #PutItOnTheBottle: White Wine
(BEUC - The European Consumer Organisation)
2. Clothing & Textiles Regulations in the European Union: A Video Tutorial
(Compliance Gate)
3. BEUC | #PutItOnTheBottle: Red Wine
(BEUC - The European Consumer Organisation)
4. Launch of the wine & spirits E-Label Digital Platform
(Brussels Press Club TV)
5. Alcohol labelling - what do they have to hide?
(European Alcohol Policy Alliance - Eurocare)
6. Food Contact Materials Regulations in the European Union
(Compliance Gate)


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