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Wine designation right

For a long time, the general principle was that everything that was not expressly permitted was prohibited. Today, the most important information about a wine is regulated in EU regulations with mandatory and optional information and is listed under label. In addition, there is additional information, which serves to provide a more detailed description and thus additional information beyond the basic knowledge to be conveyed on the main label and is intended to meet the consumer's desire for greater differentiation and knowledge transfer. They do not belong to the standard information required under wine law, such as bottler, producer, origin, vintage, quality group and grape variety, but supplement it and make it more comprehensible. The overriding principle is that, according to the "misleading prohibition", such information must be "true" and "not misleading".

Whether fancy designations containing the word element "-wine" are permissible is decided partly on the basis of the principle of prohibition and partly on the basis of the general prohibition of misleading advertising. Such "-wine" word combinations outside the legally standardised cases are almost without exception inadmissible because they are either likely to mislead the consumer, namely to give the impression of a (non-existent) wine quality group, type of wine or labelling, or describe a factual situation for which another but analogously identical term with possibly different spelling is already exclusively permitted by law.

The country-specific regulations also regulate the layout of the information such as the font size of the individual details. In December 2014 the new Food Information Regulation (LMIV) came into effect.

inadmissible designations

Not permitted on the label are therefore e.g. Bismarckwein, Europawein, Goethewein, Hauswein, Kanzlerwein, Meisterwein, Präsidentenwein, Ratsherrenwein, Sommerwein, Spitzenwein and Vereinigungswein. For beverages with an alcohol content of more than 1.2% vol. any reference to health on the label and in advertising statements is prohibited. Therefore, designations such as blood wine, wine for diabetics, health wine, childbed wine, sick wine, medicinal wine and still wine are also not permitted. This is to avoid possible associations such as "good or healthy for sick people, diabetics or nursing mothers". A Palatinate winegrowers' cooperative marketed its wine with the attribute "wholesome", which was prohibited by the wine control of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. After the cooperative filed a suit with the European Court of Justice, the result was announced in 2012: The use of "bekömmlich" is prohibited within the EU "because it suggests the maintenance of a good state of health despite the potentially harmful consumption of alcohol".

traditional terms

Traditional names for certain types of wine are common in many countries. However, such names may have to be applied for. In Austria, for example, these are the types of wine regulated by wine law, such as Dreikönigswein, Jubiläumswein, Jungfernwein, Leopoldiwein, Martiniwein, Messwein, Nikolowein and Weihnachtswein. Equally permissible are brand names on the label such as Maestro, Phantom, President, Smaragd or Solitaire, which are very popular in Austria and Italy for IGT wines (country wines).

Quality designations

With certain designations a higher or special wine quality is expressed. These are defined by country or regulated by wine law. These include Austich, Auswahl, Classic or Klassik, Jubiläumswein und Tradition (Austria), Premium, Reserve and Selection (Germany, Austria), Grand Cru and Premier Cru (France), Classico, Riserva and Superiore (Italy), and Reserva (Portugal, Spain).

Qualitätssystem Wein, Wein g.g.A. und Wein g.U.

August 2009 an extensively amended EU wine market regulation came into force, which, among other things, brought about serious changes in quality grades and designations. See also under quality system.

further information

Complete lists of the numerous cellar techniques as well as the types of wine, sparkling wine and distillate regulated by wine law are included under the keyword vinification. A further 200 or so wine names, most of which have no legal meaning in wine law, but are only used in colloquial language, are listed under special wines. Comprehensive information on wine law can be found under the keyword wine law.

Source: In part, "Weinrecht Kommentar" (published by DWI, Deutscher Fachverlag Frankfurt/Main) was used by the well-known wine author Prof. Dr. Hans-Jörg Koch.

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