Wine regulations.

Part of the common organization of the markets, the wine sector is covered under its specific regulation, both at national and European level, which is much more articulated compared to other food products.
The main legal source is Regulation (EU) No. 1308/2013, that establishes a common organization of markets for agricultural products (CMOs), integrated by other European regulations and, in Italy, by Law No. 238/2016 (law on vines and wine) and other ministerial regulations.
All of these laws constitute the legal background on wine, and they deal with each phase of the production process, while covering many legal frameworks (administrative, civil, agricultural, criminal, European and international law).

  • Production rules

    Planting and replanting.
    The planting of new vineyards and the replanting of those that have been eradicated are admitted under an authorization that has a validity of 3 years. Authorizations in Italy are issued by Regions and Autonomous Provinces depending on the annual available area, which is 1% of the national area planted with vines.

    Grape variety.
    For wine production, only varieties of wine grapes entered in the national register and listed as varieties suitable for cultivation or under observation in the regional territory concerned, can be planted for wine production.

    Oenological practices.
    As for the production and storage of wine products, only authorized oenological practices may be used, in compliance with the limits and restrictions provided for by European and national regulations.

    By-products management.
    Grape marc and wine lees cannot be held in oenological establishments beyond certain time limits; the by-products of winemaking must be mandatorily delivered to a distillery or sent to the permitted alternative uses (agronomic use, energy use, pharmaceutical or cosmetic use, production of grape skin extract, production of some foods).

  • Labelling

    Regulations on wine labelling in general, and without prejudice to any specific provisions of the PDO and PGI wine specifications, require the inclusion of the following mandatory information:

    • The designation of the category of wine products

    • For wines with a Protected Designation of Origin or Protected Geographical Indication:

    • The statement “Protected Designation of Origin” or “Protected Geographical Indication” (in the case of Italian wines, the traditional terms “Controlled Designation of Origin”, “Controlled and Guaranteed Designation of Origin”, “Typical Geographical Indication”)

    • The name of the Protected Designation of Origin or Protected Geographical Indication;

    • The actual alcoholic strength by volume

    • The indication of the origin

    • The indication of the bottler or, in the case of sparkling wine, aerated sparkling wine, quality sparkling wine or quality aromatic sparkling wine, the name of the producer or vendor

    • The indication of the importer, in the case of imported wines

    • The indication of sugar content in the case of sparkling wine, aerated sparkling wine, quality sparkling wine or quality aromatic sparkling wine

    • The indication of substances causing allergies or intolerances

    • The net quantity

    • The lot number

    • n Italy, the indication of the year of harvest for DOC and DOCG wines (except for sparkling wines, non-vintage sparkling wines and fortified wines)

    Further information may be added on a voluntary basis, provided that they are truthful, verifiable and not misleading the consumer. Moreover, the following voluntary indications are subject to a specific discipline:

    • The year of harvest

    • The variety of wine grapes and the term “varietal wine”

    • The sugar content (except for sparkling wines, non-vintage sparkling wines and fortified wines)

    • Terms referring to production methods

    • Awards, medals, certificates

    In order to avoid disputes and fines, special attention must be paid when providing voluntary information, even the one published on e-commerce websites and advertising of wine products. In fact, the following details must be avoided:

    • Any reference to names reserved to wine products recognized as PDO and PGI, including the sub-areas provided for by the PDO and PGI specifications

    • Any reference to geographical areas of any kind, for wine products without PDO and PGI recognition marketed in Italy

  • Denominations of origin, geographical indications and traditional mentions

    In the unique wine sector, geographical indications constitute a vital tool for enhancing the value of its products on the market.
    Protected denomination of origin (PDO) is a name identifying products fulfilling the following requirements:

    • The quality and characteristics of the product are essentially or exclusively due to a particular geographical environment

    • The grapes from which the product is produced come exclusively from that geographical area

    • The production takes place in that geographical area

    • The product is obtained from vine varieties belonging to Vitis vinifera

    Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) is a name identifying products fulfilling the following requirements:

    • They possess a specific quality, reputation or other characteristics attributable to that geographical origin

    • At least 85 % of the grapes used for their production come exclusively from that geographical area

    • Their production takes place in that geographical area

    • Are obtained from vine varieties belonging to Vitis vinifera or a cross between the Vitis vinifera

    PDO and PGI specifications are protected against:

    • Any misuse, imitation or evocation, even if the protected name is accompanied by an expression such as "style", "type", "method", "as produced in", "imitation", "flavor", "like" or similar

    • Any other false or misleading indication as to the provenance, origin, nature or essential qualities of the product

    • Any other practice liable to mislead the consumer as to the true origin of the product

    Products complying with the relevant specifications are the only ones that can use:

    • The name registered as PDO and PGI

    • The traditional terms associated with PDO and PGI (e.g. “classico”, “superiore” etc.)

    • The geographical units and sub-areas defined by the specifications concerned

    Even the term "vineyard" and its synonyms, followed by the related toponym or traditional name, can only be used for PDO wines, provided that such name appears in the regional lists.

  • Administrative requirements

    The monitoring system on the production and circulation of wine products is based on a series of well integrated elements.

    Vineyard register: ool for collecting data on the production potential of vineyards, where each vineyard unit suitable for the production of wine grapes is entered, with attribution of any suitability for the production of DOCG, DOC and IGT wines.

    Wine registers: traceability and monitoring tools for wine products that, in Italy, have been digitized within the National Agricultural Information Service (SIAN).

    Operators are required, within a strict deadline, to include the following information in the register:

    • The incoming and outgoing of product

    • The wine making and bottling operations

    • The reclassification and downgrading

    • The processing operations of sparkling and semi-sparkling wines

    • The collection of samples of PDO wine

    • The decrease, losses and exceeding

    Grape harvest declaration: ubmitted annually by wine grape producers. It concerns the quantities, expressed in kilograms, of the grapes produced in the last harvest campaign within the territory of each Region or autonomous Province.
    Production declaration: submitted by operators carrying out the wine making operations, it concerns the quantity, expressed in liters, of produced wine and grape must obtained in the last harvest, within the area of each Region or Autonomous Province.
    Stock declaration: mandatory declaration of the quantity, expressed in hectoliters, of wine and/or grape must and/or concentrated grape must and/or rectified concentrated grape must that are held at midnight on 31 July each year.
    Accompanying documentation: all wine products which are transported between operators must be accompanied by specific documents, as described below

    • Document accompanying wine products (delivery note integrated with the data required by EU regulation)

    • Document accompanying the movement of wine products (MVV)

    • Administrative document (e-AD)

    • Simplified accompanying document (DAS)

  • Aromatized wine products

    There is a totally separate regulation provided by the EU as regards the production, labelling and protection of geographical indications of aromatized wine products, which are alcoholic beverages produced by adding flavorings to certain wine products (e.g. vermouth).

Services provided by the firm.

The Firm offers its legal advice and assistance to wine operators in the areas listed below:

  • Assistance for those operators who must adhere to regulations in the areas of grape production, wine making, bottling and circulation of wine products

  • Verifying the inclusion and correctness of mandatory information on wine product labels

  • The assessment of advertising in order to verify its compliance with the obligation of providing correct information to consumers (pamphlets, websites and social media)

  • Support to European and third-country companies willing to export their products in Italy

  • Assistance for the creation of e-commerce services

  • Help drafting agreements between operators of the wine sector

  • Protection in Italy and abroad of company trademarks, of PDOs and PGIs

  • Support for registering a PDO or PGI, both for drafting the product specification and keeping the relations with the relevant public authorities

  • Help in settling any disputes between operators and inspection bodies

Contact us for more information or fill out the FORM to get an estimate of costs for our services

Other Services.

Labelling and information for consumers

Mandatory information, voluntary information, nutritional and health claims.

Food safety
and hygiene

Traceability, withdrawal and recall, hygiene requirements, Haccp, flexibility.

Food supplements, fortified food and novel food

Food supplements, fortified food, novel food, food for specific population groups.

Geographical indications and quality schemes

PDO, PGI, TSG, organic, integrated production, certification and collective marks.

Organization of the company and trade relations

Contracts, e-commerce, trademarks, penalties, debts recovery, litigations.


Obligations to start production, public contribution, administrative proceedings and appeals.

Training and corporate advice

On-premise training courses, webinar, ongoing legal advice.