In February 2012, new EU rules for “organic wine” have been agreed in the Standing Committee on Organic Farming (SCOF). These rules can be found in the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 203/2012 amending Regulation (EC) No 889/2008 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007, as regards detailed rules on organic wine. From the 2012 harvest, organic wine growers are allowed to use the term “organic wine” on their labels. The labels must also show the EU-organic-logo and the code number of their certifier, and must respect other wine labelling rules.
These rules have the advantage of improved transparency and better consumer recognition. They do not only facilitate the internal market, but also to strengthen the position of EU organic wines at international level, since many other wine producing countries (USA, Chile, Australia, South Africa) have already established standards for organic wines. With this piece of legislation, the EU organic farming is now complete and covers all agricultural products.
Key parts of the regulation
The regulation establishes a subset of wine-making practices and substances for organic wines defined in the Wine Common Market Organisation (CMO) Regulation 606/2009.
- For example, sorbic acid and desulfurication will not be allowed and the level of sulphites in organic wine must be at least 30-50 mg per litre lower than their conventional equivalent (depending on the residual sugar content).
The rules on organic wine-making rules introduce a technical definition of organic wine which is consistent with the organic objective and principles as laid down in Council Regulation (EC 834/2007) Organic production. The regulation identifies oenological techniques and substances to be authorized for organic wine.
- These include: maximum sulphite content set at 100 mg per litre for red wine (150 mg/l for conventional)
- 150mg/l for white/rosé (200 mg/l for conventional),
- with a 30mg/l differential where the residual sugar content is more than 2g per litre.
Other than this subset of specifications, the general wine-making rules defined in the Wine CMO regulation also apply. As well as these wine-making practices, “organic wine” must of course also be produced using organic grapes – as defined under Regulation 834/2007.
For more information:
Press release:New EU rules for ‘Organic Wine’ agreed (8/02/2012)