Labelling wine

Wine produced or imported in the UK must comply with EU regulations on wine labelling. This page sets out the requirements wine must meet in regards to labelling before it can be sold in the UK.
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Regulations 1234/2007 and 607/2009 introduced some changes to wine making requirements and labeling of wines. In addition they make provision for a new category of wine allowed to show one or more varieties and the vintage.

Wines which were labelled before 31 December 2010 in compliance with requirements in force before 1 August 2009 may be marketed until used up.

Provenance of wine

Wines without geographical designation are allowed to show country as 'Wine of England (or Wales)' or 'Product of England' or 'Produced in England' instead of 'Wine of United Kingdom' or equivalent. Other wines (Quality, Regional and sparkling) must also use one of these formats for the country.

Descriptor 'wine'

The description 'Wine' must be shown as the category for wine without geographical designation where the Provenance descriptor does not include the term 'Wine'.

Varietal wine – new designation

Wines from 2009 and subsequent vintages which are not submitted and approved for either the Protected Designation of Origin (Quality Wine) Scheme or the Protected Geographical Indication (Regional Wine) Scheme may be entitled to describe one or more varieties and/or the vintage using the new descriptor of 'Varietal Wine' (subject to national legislation) if they go through a Certification Process prior to sale of the wine.

Varietal Wine certification forms are available from the UKVA and must be submitted to the UKVA. These are passed on to Wine Standards Inspectors who may visit producers to check that records show details of production for wine intended for this category.

Certification forms for Varietal Wine are available from the UKVA

It is important to ensure your labelling complies with the following guidance:

  • labelling EU still wine
  • a guide to labelling EU still wine
  • labelling of other wine products
  • guide to labelling liqueur wines, semi sparkling wines, aerated wines and partially fermented grape must
  • wine allergen labelling
  • wine labelling display of bottler's details
  • guidance on the legal requirements
  • wine labelling, wine produced in third countries
  • guide to labelling sparkling wine

Units of alcohol and related health warnings are not compulsory on wine. Details about the the voluntary alcohol labelling scheme are available on the Portman Group website.

Labels on imported wine

The main requirements for different categories of wine are set out in notes listed in A guide to wine law. For advice on specific labels, please contact your regional inspector.

Producers from outside the EU should direct enquiries to your importer in the UK. Importers in other European Commission countries should contact the authorities in those countries.

Allergens and wine

The following wines must include a statement on one of the labels:

  • wines with sulphur dioxide exceeding 10 mg/litre

Wines which are refined with milk or egg products should be clearly labelled. The wording must include the word 'Contains':

  • sulphur dioxide/sulphites/sulfites
  • ‘egg’, ‘egg protein’, ‘egg product’, ‘egg lysozyme’ or ‘egg albumin’
  • ‘milk’, ‘milk products’, ‘milk casein’ or ‘milk protein’