Australian wine producers will from next month be able to bottle and label wine that contains 4.5 per cent alcohol or more as ‘wine’ rather than ‘wine product’.
Food Standards Australia New Zealand has accepted a submission by the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) to reduce the minimum alcohol content allowable in locally-produced wine.
Before the ruling, under the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, anything under 8% had to be defined as ‘wine product’.
WFA chief executive Stephen Strachan said the move to lower the minimum alcohol content in Australian wine was a step forward for the industry.
“It reflects the fact that there are number of companies in Australia looking to make wine with an alcohol content below 8%, that were looking for more flexibility,” Strachan said.
“It also reflects consumers who are looking for lower alcohol alternatives and it’s a sign for a broader trend towards lower alcohol products.”
He said the change will give Australian wine producers the power to market their product as lower-alcohol.
WFA made the proposal to lower the alcohol content in Australian wine in April to bring Australian wine into line with standards in the European Union, one of Australia’s largest export markets for wine.
Strachan said the change will give Australian wine producers the power to market their product as lower alcohol.
Comments for the proposal closed in June and Food Standards Australia New Zealand has gazetted the proposal until this month, but Strachan said it is expected to roll out.
More on this story will feature in the October issue of the Grapegrower & Winemaker magazine, out mid next month.
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