EU Wine Label Requirements in 2024 – A Guide for Wineries

Explore the new EU wine label regulations effective Dec 8, 2023. Learn key compliance tips for wineries, including QR codes and e-labels, in this guide.

12 Mins Read


Imagine strolling through the grocery store, going to the wine section, and noticing something new on the labels.

As of December 8, 2023, wines sold in the EU must now showcase fresh ingredient and nutrition details.

Wondering what’s needed? Why is it important? And how to comply?

Consider this guide essential reading if you’re part of the wine industry within the European Union.

Whether you’re a wine producer marketing your products in the EU, a wine distributor tasked with labeling wines for sale in the region, or a label producer for wines distributed within the EU, the insights provided here are invaluable.

If you’re familiar with the legal requirements and are seeking to implement digital labels, please visit our EU wine labeling solutions.

The New E.U. Wine Label Regulations

Understanding the legal framework governing wine labels in the European Union is a must for any winery in this market.

The EU has established comprehensive regulations to ensure transparency, consumer protection, and fair competition. These regulations cover various aspects;

Key Requirements for Wine Labels:

  1. Mandatory Information:
    • Name and Address: The name and address of the bottler or the seller must be displayed.
    • Country of Origin: The country where the wine was produced must be specified.
    • Net Contents: The volume of the wine in the bottle must be stated.
    • Alcohol Content: The alcoholic strength by volume must be indicated.
    • Allergen Information: The presence of allergens, such as sulfites, must be declared.
  2. Labeling Standards:
    • Legibility: All information on the label must be clear, legible, and indelible.
    • Language: Labels must be written in one or more languages that consumers readily understand in the market where the wine is sold.
    • Label Placement: Certain information must appear on the main label or in a single field of vision.
  3. Compliance with EU Directives:
    • Food Information to Consumers Regulation (FIC): This regulation outlines the general requirements for food labeling, including wine, ensuring that consumers receive clear and accurate information.
    • Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indication (PGI): Wines with a PDO or PGI must meet specific labeling requirements to highlight their quality and origin.

Exploring the Specific Legal Mandates for Wine Labeling

Understanding the distinct regulations governing wine labeling is necessary for any winery in the European Union.

These regulations guarantee that customers have consistent and accurate information regarding the wines they buy. Also, this will preserve business compliance and keep them out of trouble.

Protected Designations

Wines with a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) or Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) must display these designations on the label. This indicates that the wine has been produced in a specific region and meets certain quality standards.

Vintage and Varietal Labeling

If a wine label includes a vintage (year of harvest) or a grape variety, certain criteria must be met. For instance, a minimum percentage of the wine must come from the specified vintage or varietal.

Labeling of Organic Wines

Wines that are certified as organic must comply with specific labeling requirements, including the use of the EU organic logo and a reference to the certification body.

Health and Safety Warnings

Labels must include health and safety warnings, such as the message “Drink Responsibly” or warnings about the risks of drinking alcohol during pregnancy.

Labeling of Additives and Processes

Certain additives and processes used in wine production, such as sulfites, must be declared on the label.

Identifying Recent Updates in Label Requirements

Wineries conducting business within the European Union must remain current on any modifications to label requirements. Regulatory changes may significantly impact labeling practices; therefore, it is critical to proactively respond to these updates to maintain compliance and market competitiveness.

Recent updates in EU wine label requirements have introduced several important changes.

One significant update is the requirement to include nutritional information and a list of ingredients on wine labels, aiming to provide consumers with more detailed information about the products they consume.

Then, EU has introduced provisions for using digital labeling solutions, such as QR codes, which allow consumers to access additional information online, reflecting the growing trend towards digitalization and providing wineries with new opportunities to engage with consumers.

There is also an increasing focus on sustainability in the wine industry, with recent updates encouraging the inclusion of information related to sustainable practices and environmental impact on wine labels.

Furthermore, the requirements for allergen labeling have been updated to ensure greater transparency and safety for consumers with allergies, including clearer labeling of common allergens such as sulfites.

Timeline for Achieving Label Regulation Compliance

For wineries operating in the European Union, adhering to a clear timeline is crucial for ensuring compliance with label regulations.

Understanding and planning for key deadlines can help prevent potential disruptions and penalties associated with non-compliance.

Key Milestones in the Compliance Timeline:

  1. Regulation Announcement:
    • The date when the EU officially announces new label regulations. Wineries should stay informed through official channels of any upcoming changes.
  2. Implementation Date:
    • The date by which the new labeling requirements must be fully implemented. This is the deadline for wineries to update their labels and ensure that all products comply with the new standards.
  3. Grace Period:
    • In some cases, a grace period may be provided, allowing wineries additional time to sell existing stock with old labels. This period is crucial for managing inventory and transitioning to new labels without incurring losses.
  4. Regular Compliance Checks:
    • After the implementation date, wineries should conduct regular compliance checks to ensure that all new labels continue to meet the regulatory standards. Staying proactive in monitoring compliance can help avoid future issues.

Planning for Compliance:

Wineries should develop a detailed plan for the transition to new label requirements. This plan should include a timeline for designing new labels, updating production processes, and managing inventory.

Collaborating with legal experts and industry associations can provide valuable guidance and resources to ensure a smooth transition to compliance.

Promoting Clear Disclosure on Wine Labels

In the European Union, promoting clear disclosure on wine labels is essential for maintaining consumer trust and ensuring compliance with regulations. Clear and accurate labeling helps consumers make informed choices and supports the integrity of the wine industry.


Wine labels should provide transparent information about the wine’s origin, production methods, and ingredients. This transparency helps consumers understand what they are purchasing and consuming.


All information on the wine label must be accurate and truthful. Misleading or false claims can lead to legal consequences and damage the winery’s reputation.


The information on the label must be easy to read and understand. This includes using clear fonts, appropriate sizes, and contrasting colors to ensure legibility.

Mandatory Label Information for Wine Bottles

In the European Union, certain information is mandatory on wine bottle labels to ensure transparency, consumer protection, and compliance with regulations. Understanding these requirements is crucial for wineries to avoid legal issues and maintain consumer trust.

Required Information on Wine Labels:

  • Brand Name
  • Country of Origin
  • Alcohol Content
  • Net Contents
  • Producer Information
  • Allergen Information
  • Lot Number
  • Quality Designation (if applicable)

Linking E-Label Solutions to Brand Websites

The integration of e-label solutions, such as QR codes or NFC tags, with brand websites offers a seamless way to connect consumers with additional information while maintaining compliance with labeling regulations.

  • QR Codes and NFC Tags: These technologies can be incorporated into wine labels, allowing consumers to scan or tap to access the brand’s information pages directly.
  • Real-Time Information Updates: E-label solutions enable wineries to update information in real time, ensuring that consumers always have access to the most current details.
  • Compliance and Traceability: Linking e-labels to brand websites can enhance compliance by providing a centralized source of information and improving traceability.
  • Marketing and Branding: E-label solutions offer an innovative way to enhance branding and marketing efforts, providing an interactive experience that can set a brand apart in a competitive market.

Adhering to Compliance Through Brand Website Information Pages

Brand websites play an essential role in ensuring conformance for wine labels in the European Union during the digital age.

By designating specific pages on their websites, wineries can provide full details regarding their products, including but not limited to the production method, geographical origin, constituents, and sensory evaluations.

These practices promote regulatory adherence and transparency, demonstrating conformance with regulations; websites may also host official documents and certifications, such as organic certifications or PDO/PGI certificates.

Also, information pages foster consumer engagement by providing interactive content, such as food pairing recommendations and narratives of the wines in question; it prioritizes the website’s accessibility and user-friendliness to deliver a satisfactory experience to consumers and facilitate information retrieval.

Leveraging URLs and QR Codes for Additional Wine Information

Wineries in the European Union must enhance their wine labels by leveraging URLs and QR codes. These digital tools provide a gateway to additional information, offering a richer consumer experience and complying with labeling regulations that require more detailed disclosures.

Advantages of QR Code Utilization for Ingredient Disclosure

  1. Extended Information: URLs and QR codes can link to web pages that provide comprehensive details about the wine, such as its production process, tasting notes, food pairings, and the story behind the brand.
  2. Consumer Engagement: By scanning a QR code or visiting a URL, consumers can interact with the brand, deepening their connection and potentially leading to increased loyalty and sales.
  3. Regulatory Compliance: Digital solutions enable wineries to comply with regulations that require extensive information without cluttering the physical label.
  4. Real-Time Updates: Information linked through URLs and QR codes can be updated in real time, allowing wineries to keep consumers informed about the latest developments or changes.

Implementing URLs and QR Codes on Wine Labels

  • Strategic Placement: Place the URL or QR code in a prominent position on the label or back label, ensuring it’s easily noticeable and scannable.
  • User-Friendly Design: Design the landing page to be mobile-friendly and easy to navigate, providing a seamless experience for consumers accessing the information.
  • Track Engagement: Utilize analytics tools to track the engagement with the QR code or URL, gaining insights into consumer behavior and preferences.
  • Regular Testing: Regularly test the functionality of the QR code and the accessibility of the URL to ensure they are working correctly and providing the intended information.

Language Preferences for Label Information Display

In the diverse linguistic landscape of the European Union, addressing language preferences in wine label information is mandatory for effective communication and compliance with regulations.

Wineries must consider the language requirements of their target markets to ensure that consumers can understand the information provided on the labels.

In the European Union, wine labels should be written in the official language or languages of the country where the wine is sold, with some countries requiring multiple languages to accommodate regional diversity.

For wines distributed across different EU countries, multilingual labels can be an effective solution to meet the language preferences of a wider audience. The choice of language on the label should prioritize consumer accessibility, ensuring that the target demographic quickly understands the information.

Adhering to language requirements is a matter of consumer convenience and regulatory obligation, as non-compliance can result in legal challenges and hinder market access.

Compliance Requirements for Beers and Spirits: An Overview

While wine labeling regulations are stringent in the European Union, beers and spirits also have compliance requirements. Understanding these regulations is essential for producers and distributors to ensure their products meet the necessary standards and can be marketed successfully in the EU.

Labeling Information

Similar to wine, labels for beers and spirits must include basic information such as the brand name, country of origin, alcohol content, net contents, and allergen information.

Ingredient Listing

Beers and spirits may have different requirements for listing ingredients. For example, spirits must list certain additives, while beers may have more flexibility in ingredient disclosure.

Alcohol Content

The way alcohol content is displayed on labels can vary between beers and spirits, with specific guidelines on the format and precision of the alcohol by volume (ABV) percentage.

Geographical Indications

Spirits, in particular, may have protected geographical indications (PGIs) that need to be clearly stated on the label if applicable.

Health Warnings

Depending on the regulations of the specific EU country, beer and spirit labels may be required to include health warnings or responsible drinking messages.

Labeling Standards for Modified Alcohol Content Wines

In the European Union, wines with modified alcohol content, such as reduced-alcohol or de-alcoholized wines, are subject to specific labeling standards. These standards ensure that consumers are accurately informed about the nature of the product they purchase.

The label of wines with modified alcohol content must indicate the alcohol content, including any modifications; for reduced-alcohol wines, the percentage by volume should be stated, while de-alcoholized wines should indicate that they contain minimal or no alcohol.

Then, the label should include a product description that accurately reflects the nature of the product, such as “reduced-alcohol wine” or “de-alcoholized wine.”

If the wine has undergone a specific process to modify its alcohol content, this process should be described on the label to inform consumers about how the product was created.

For wines with significantly altered alcohol content, the label may need to include information about any changes in taste or sensory characteristics resulting from the modification.

Lastly, all labeling must comply with EU regulations governing producing and labeling wines with modified alcohol content, ensuring consistency and transparency across the market.

Strategies for Ensuring Winery Compliance with EU Label Regulations

Navigating the complex landscape of EU label regulations requires a strategic approach to ensure that your winery remains compliant and avoids potential penalties. Implementing effective strategies can help streamline the compliance process and maintain the integrity of your brand.

  • Regular Regulatory Updates: Stay informed about changes in EU label regulations by subscribing to regulatory newsletters, attending industry seminars, and consulting with legal experts.
  • Comprehensive Label Reviews: Conduct regular reviews of your wine labels to ensure they meet all current requirements. Consider creating a checklist based on the regulations to streamline the review process.
  • Collaboration with Designers and Printers: Work closely with label designers and printers who are familiar with EU label regulations to ensure that your labels are compliant from the design stage.
  • Training and Education: Provide training for your team on the importance of label compliance and the specific requirements they need to be aware of. This can help prevent errors and ensure that everyone is aligned with regulatory standards.
  • Record-Keeping and Documentation: Maintain detailed records of label approvals, changes, and compliance checks. This documentation can be crucial in the event of a regulatory audit or inquiry.
  • Quality Control Procedures: Implement quality control procedures to catch any labeling errors before the product reaches the market. This can include regular label audits and spot checks.
  • Utilizing Technology: Consider using software or digital tools that can help manage and track label compliance, making it easier to stay on top of regulatory requirements.


Navigating the complex landscape of EU label regulations requires a proactive approach to ensure compliance and protect your winery’s reputation.

Some strategies for maintaining compliance include staying informed about regulatory changes, conducting regular label reviews, and collaborating with experienced partners.

Label compliance is a legal obligation that builds trust with consumers and differentiates your brand in the competitive European wine market.

Implementing effective quality control measures, utilizing technology for tracking compliance, and providing ongoing training for your team are essential components of a robust compliance strategy.

By adopting a comprehensive and proactive approach to label compliance, wineries can confidently navigate the regulatory landscape, ensuring that their products meet all necessary standards and are positioned for success in the European Union.

Looking to be compliant with EU wine labeling laws? Schedule a call with SwearIt!