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Discovering Wine Additives: A Guide to Labelling Under the New EU Regulation

Hello, dear wine lovers and winemakers. In this article, we will explore the world of wine additives. This is an essential topic, both for understanding the winemaking process and for complying with the latest European Union (EU) labelling regulations.

I. Wine Additives: Beyond the Grapes

Winemaking is a complex process that goes beyond fermenting grapes. During this process, various components are added to enrich the quality, taste and shelf life of our wines. However, some of these additives can cause reactions in people with certain sensitivities or allergies.

What are Wine Additives?

Although it is true that wine is mainly made from grapes, the reality is that more elements are involved in its production process. From yeasts that initiate fermentation to substances that are used to clarify or stabilise the wine, there are a number of additives that can be involved. Here we explore some of them:

  • Sulphites: These are preservatives that help protect the wine against oxidation and bacterial growth.

  • Yeasts: Indispensable for wine fermentation, they transform the sugars in the grapes into alcohol.

  • Fining agents: These additives, such as albumin (egg protein) and casein (milk protein), help remove impurities and sediment from the wine.

  • Stabilisers: Such as gelatine and isinglass, are used to prevent the formation of tartrate crystals in the wine.

  • Tannic: These are added to improve the structure and flavour of the wine.

II. The European Regulations: New Labelling Regulations

European legislation has always emphasised transparency and consumer protection. The most recent regulations are no exception.

Current EU Regulations on Wine Labelling

The European Commission adopted a notification on the food information provided with regard to substances causing allergies and intolerances in July 2017. According to this new legislation, information on the presence of allergens in food, in particular in unpackaged food, must be provided.

In addition, Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 establishes the obligation to mention any ingredient or processing aid that causes allergies or intolerances and is used in the manufacture or processing of a food, even if it is still present in the finished product in a modified form.

III. The Labelling of Additives in Wine: A Step by Step Guide

Proper labelling not only complies with regulations, but also ensures that consumers can make informed choices about the products they consume. Here's how to do it:

Step 1: Identify Additives

The first step is to identify all additives used in the production of your wine. This includes all ingredients used in the process, from fermentation to bottling.

Step 2: Check for Allergens

Check each additive to see if it is considered an allergen according to EU regulations. Common allergens in wine include sulphites, egg proteins, casein, gluten, among others.

Step 3: Allergen Labelling

Once allergens have been identified, they must be mentioned on your wine label. EU regulations require specific terms to be used to indicate the presence of these allergens.

IV. Conclusion: Commitment to Transparency

Wine is a beverage appreciated for its taste, complexity and tradition. In order to continue to offer a quality product and to comply with our legal obligations, it is important to take into account the latest EU regulations on allergen labelling.

In the end, good labelling reinforces consumer confidence and allows everyone to choose the wine that best suits their needs and preferences. As wine producers, we must commit ourselves to transparency and ensure that our wines can be enjoyed by all.

Let's continue to toast to a more informed and safer wine future. Cheers!


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