Project 1.3.1

Supporting market access, safety and regulation

Project summary

The Australian wine industry needs to be proactive, and to anticipate, facilitate and influence changes to regulations relating to wine composition, production, labelling and marketing. This project involves AWRI staff regularly attending and actively participating in Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin (OIV), FIVS, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Regulatory Forum, International Wine Technical Summit (IWTS), World Wine Trade Group (WWTG) and Oenoviti meetings, and working with these organisations to provide scientific and technical advice and assistance on relevant issues. This includes actively serving on key boards, committees and working groups.

This project will also disseminate to stakeholders (including governments, industry, journalists and the general public) accurate, appropriate and timely technical information to inform industry policy positions. Position and supporting papers and materials will be produced and advice and assistance provided. Examples include the preparation of scientific and technical submissions to governments, and allied government and industry organisations on industry-relevant issues to facilitate evidence-based and informed decision-making by the wine industry, regulators, policy makers and consumers. Content and resources will contribute to the development of industry advice, publications and presentations, which will support the AWRI helpdesk, and provide content for the AWRI website.

Support will also be provided to the work of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR), Wine Australia (WA) and Australian Grape and Wine (AGW) in establishing robust scientifically and technically sound regulatory frameworks in emerging markets. Stakeholders will be provided with information drawn from a repository of readily accessible, accurate scientific and technical information, and recommendations on the making and selling of wine, both nationally and internationally. The success of this project depends on using expertise from various scientific/technical disciplines within the AWRI.

This project incorporates the AWRI portion of the multi-agency Australian Wine Sector Market Access Project 2017-2019, excluding the agrochemicals component, which is covered by Project 1.5.1.

Latest information

Scientific and technical advice and assistance were provided to the Australian wine industry on a range of market access issues. These included changes to European limits for certain fungicides and the herbicide glyphosate. Analysis of residues in Australian wine show that early action by the Australian industry has helped limit the impact of the European ban on iprodione, with the number of wines found with residues above the limit of quantification rapidly decreasing with each vintage, dropping from 25% of surveyed wines in 2016 to less than 3% in 2018. Chlorothalonil has not been detected in any wines since vintage 2016. Glyphosate levels were also below the Australian maximum residue limits (MRLs) for all surveyed wines, with work continuing to understand the impacts of any changes to MRLs in other markets.

The team continued active participation in forums including the International Wine Technical Summit, FIVS, World Wine Trade Group, the OIV and the APEC Wine Regulatory Forum as well as supporting the Wine Industry Technical Advisory Committee to understand changes to the international regulatory environment and to support improved market access. At the OIV Prof. Markus Herderich was elected to chair the subcommission for analytical methods. Members of this subcommittee aim to harmonise and validate analytical methods, working towards global recognition by regulatory and industry laboratories.

Papers and presentations prepared during the year covered:

  • recommendations on the international harmonisation of sugar measurement in wines
  • a proposal that analytical results from ISO17025 (NATA equivalent) laboratories be accepted in all APEC destination markets
  • issues associated with regulatory limits on methanol, titratable acidity and sugar free extract being applied to ensure the safety, quality or authenticity of wines.

The project team also had significant involvement in helping to address issues arising from changing regulatory requirements in some destination markets, including new analytical requirements from the Thai and Brazilian Governments and an emerging issue of certification of the absence of water additions for wine exported to Uruguay and Brazil.

The international ring test program managed by the AWRI in conjunction with the Interwinery Analysis Group continued to be successful in aligning the analytical capabilities of a range of APEC nations who import and export wine, helping to reduce incidents of wine being rejected in market due to failure to meet analytical requirements. In 2019 the program was supported by the Wine Institute, USA to ensure its continuation following the end of the APEC program. Plans are in place for the 2020 program to be expanded to more than twenty countries, including emerging wine importers in Africa, India and South America, using funding secured from the Australian Government by AGW. It is hoped that this will continue to reduce the occurrence of mismatched analytical results between importing and exporting countries.

Project Contacts

Markus Herderich
Eric Wilkes

Find out more