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

Supporting export of Australian wines
Technical support for market access for Australian wine continued, despite travel restrictions in the second half of the year and the cancellation of a number of meetings and conferences. The project team actively participated in international forums including the International Wine Technical Summit, FIVS, World Wine Trade Group, the OIV and the APEC Wine Regulatory Forum. Support was also provided to the Wine Industry Technical Advisory Committee, with information provided on changes to the international regulatory environment and opportunities to improve market access.

Papers and presentations prepared during the year included:

  • recommendations on the international harmonisation of sugar measurement in wines, presented at the International Wine Technical Summit
  • a presentation to the New Zealand wine industry on the strengths and weakness of various wine fingerprinting technologies to authenticate wine
  • recommendations to the OIV on the appropriate use of total dry extract
  • information on improving wine laboratory performance, presented to an international workshop of laboratory leaders
  • a paper on the challenges of using oxygen isotope methods to determine illicit water additions, prepared for the World Wine Trade Group.

The international ring test program managed by the AWRI in conjunction with the Interwinery Analysis Group continued its success in working to align the analytical capabilities of a range of APEC nations that import and export wine. The program aims to reduce incidents of wine being rejected in market due to failure to meet analytical requirements. The 2019 results from the program demonstrated the continuing improvement of participating laboratories when analysing core analytes used in the regulation of wines (Figure 1). The 2020 program now includes more than twenty countries, including emerging wine-importing countries in Africa, India and South America, with program funding secured from the Australian Government by Australian Grape & Wine. It is hoped that this will continue to reduce the occurrence of mismatched analytical results between importing and exporting countries.

Figure 1. Statistical measure of the differences across laboratories participating in the international ring test when analysing the same wine for reducing sugar. The drop in coefficient of variation (CV) values from 2015 to 2019 represents continued improvement in consistency of the laboratories’ analytical performance.

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 approaches for quantifying water additions to must and wine.

Project Contacts

Eric Wilkes, Markus Herderich

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