Geographical Indications

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A Geographical Indication (GI) is an official description of an Australian wine zone, region or subregion. It takes the form of a textual description (i.e. a list of grid references, map co-ordinates, roads and natural landmarks which can be traced to outline the regional boundary) along with a map. Its main purpose is to protect the use of the regional name under international law, limiting its use to describe wines produced from winegrape fruit grown within that GI.

A Geographical Indication can be likened to the appellation naming system used in Europe (e.g. Bordeaux, Burgundy in France) but is much less restrictive in terms of viticultural and winemaking practices. In fact, the only restriction is that wine which carries the regional name must consist of a minimum of 85% of fruit from that region. This protects the integrity of the label and safeguards the consumer.

The use of Geographical Indications in Australia commenced in 1993 when the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation Act (1980) was updated to enable Australia to fulfil its Agreements with the European Community on Trade in Wine and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). The Act serves to ‘provide the legal means for interested parties to prevent use of a geographical indication identifying wines not originating in the place indicated by the GI in question’.

The hierarchy of GIs commences with a zone known as South Eastern Australia which is the area south east of a line from North Queensland to Ceduna in South Australia. States have been declared as GIs as well as 28 zones with contiguous boundaries within each state. About 65 regions have been identified; most have been entered in the Register of Protected Names, while others are still in the interim or proposal stage. A Geographical Indication does not have legal status under the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation Act until it has been defined and entered onto the Register of Protected Names. For details on GIs, please refer to the Wine Australia website at www.wineaustralia.com.

State/Zones Regions Subregion
South Eastern Australia 1
South Australia
Adelaide (Super Zone, includes Mount Lofty Ranges, Fleurieu and Barossa
Barossa Barossa Valley
Eden Valley High Eden
Far North Southern Flinders Ranges
Fleurieu Currency Creek
Kangaroo Island
Langhorne Creek
McLaren Vale
Southern Fleurieu
Limestone Coast Coonawarra
Mount Benson
Mount Gambier
Padthaway
Robe
Wrattonbully
Lower Murray Riverland
Mount Lofty Ranges Adelaide Hills Lenswood
Piccadilly Valley
Adelaide Plains
Clare Valley
The Peninsulas
New South Wales
Big Rivers Murray Darling2
Perricoota
Riverina
Swan Hill2
Central Ranges Cowra
Mudgee
Orange
Hunter Valley Hunter Broke Fordwich
Pokolbin
Upper Hunter Valley
Northern Rivers Hastings River
Northern Slopes New England Australia
South Coast Shoalhaven Coast
Southern Highlands
Southern New South Wales Canberra District
Gundagai
Hilltops
Tumbarumba
Western Plains
Western Australia
Central Western Australia
Eastern Plains, Inland and North of Western Australia
Greater Perth Peel
Perth Hills
Swan District Swan Valley
South West Australia Blackwood Valley
Geographe
Great Southern Albany
Denmark
Frankland River
Mount Barker
Porongurup
Manjimup
Margaret River
Pemberton
West Australian South East Coastal
Queensland
Granite Belt
South Burnett
Victoria
Central Victoria Bendigo
Goulburn Valley Nagambie Lakes
Heathcote
Strathbogie Ranges
Upper Goulburn
Gippsland
North East Victoria Alpine Valleys
Beechworth
Glenrowan
King Valley
Rutherglen
North West Victoria Murray Darling2
Swan Hill2
Port Phillip Geelong
Macedon Ranges
Mornington Peninsula
Sunbury
Yarra Valley
Western Victoria Grampians Great Western3
Henty
Pyrenees
Tasmania
Northern Territory
Australian Capital Territory
1The zone South Eastern Australia incorporates the whole of NSW, VIC and TAS and only part of QLD and SA.
2Murray Darling and Swan Hill are contained within the zones of Big Rivers (NSW) and North West Victoria (VIC).
3The use of Great Western is subject to legally enforceable conditions of use.

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