Given the complexity of the European legislation regarding wine labels, the following work is not intended to be exhaustive but it only serves the purpose of giving useful information to navigate the sea of the topic.
In addition, the legislation on wine labels is consistently revised and subjected to individual country’s indications. Because of this and in consideration of the long-standing tradition that Italy has in the sector, we will analyse with a bigger focus the norms and laws ruling in Italy notwithstanding that many of them apply to other European members.
Labeling is not only regarding the “label” to be placed on the bottle itself but it includes also the script, the image, the symbol, the brand and any other element that is found on the packaging of the product.
The EU wants labels to report the compulsory indication using more than one language and possibly reporting facultative indications along with images.
These mandatory indications must be written in a clear and unambiguous form without giving rise to interpretations, and finally a general level and must be distinguishable in terms of visual contrast.
Not compulsory information includes the specific place of origin and the ecological history of the product, along with notes on the food pairings and the organoleptic features of the wine. In general, these are useful for the marketing and the communication of the product but it is important that the notes are truthful and realistic.
If the product gets exported to another country off Europe, information on the labels have to comply the rules of the importing country in an additional language to the official languages of Europe.