The label applied on a bottle can be regarded as the identity card of the wine, and therefore must contain precise details and illustrations specially designed to help the consumer understand the true nature of the product it refers to. The label therefore takes an important significance since it determines the first contact of the consumer with the wine. In fact current commercial reality, the only message that the bottler may get to those who will drink the product consists of the information provided on the label.
The label thus transmits a whole series of important information about the wine and its characteristics.
The information must be clear, complete, and verifiable.
The European Community issued in this regard a series of precise rules in order to create a uniform legislation on a European level. The E.C. legislation brings together wines with D.O.C. and D.O.C.G. labels under the acronym D.O.P. (P.D.O. – Protected Designation of Origin).
1. Region from which the product comes from
Indicates the geographical area from which the product comes from (e.g. Alba), which may be accompanied by a reference to the related vine (e.g. Dolcetto).
2. Specific traditional mentions D.O.C. or D.O.C.G. (P.D.O.)
The expressions Controlled Designation of Origin (D.O.C.) or Controlled and Guaranteed Designation of Origin (D.O.C.G.) mean that it is an exclusive, obtained observing the strict rules that ensure a high quality.
This information may be accompanied by the acronym D.O.P. (P.D.O.) which defines, at European level, the Wines with Designation of Origin.
3.Nominal volume of wine
The nominal volume of wine must be stated in litres, centilitres, or millilitres.
Starting from the 2010 harvest, the indication of the year is mandatory for all D.O.C.G. and D.O.C. wines, except for sparkling, fizzy, and fortified wine types.
5.Indication of the manufacturer or bottler
Any reference to the corresponding manufacturer and/or bottler should always be specified (for imported wines, the importer or retailer) including the company’s name and location of the production plant. In addition, it is possible to use a code (if prescribed in the Member State) that further identifies one of these subjects.
6.Indication of origin
The term “produced in” (or equivalent terms such as “wine of”, “product of”, etc.) followed by the name of the Member State, indicates the area where the grapes were harvested and vinified.
7.Indication of the batch
Numbering that indicates a set of bottles belonging to the same lot or parcel, produced in virtually identical circumstances. As a rule, it is usually preceded by the letter “L”.
On the containers or labels of the products put on the market, there should also be an invitation not to dispose of the containers in the environment after use.
Indicates that the product was treated with allergens such as sulphur dioxide.
10.Actual alcoholic strength
The alcohol content must be expressed in units or half units of percentage by volume (e.g. 10% vol., 10.5% vol.) and may be preceded by the wording “actual alcoholic strength’’ or “actual alcohol’’ or just by the abbreviation “alc’’.