Canada has established an international agreement on wine labeling. Alongside South Africa, Argentina, Australia, Chile, the US, Georgia and New Zealand, Canada intends to reduce the costs of producing labels while respecting the various market requirements.

This agreement only concerns wine from the “New World”, but should still have an interesting impact for Canadian wine producers, who are often small or medium enterprises. Indeed, reducing label production costs enables them to be more competitive on the markets!

What can we find in this agreement?

  • The first request is simple: provide clear, specific, accurate labels which do not mislead the consumer. This information includes the type of wine, grape variety, location, year …;
  • The information should be in one field of vision, usually located on the front of the bottle;
  • The information can appear in one or two languages, depending on the country’s official languages;
  • The information should also now appear in a fairly large font (at least 2 mm for traditional bottles);
  • Each product must have information on the wine’s origin in the form of “Product of” or “Wine of”;

These agreements are fairly simple, but will mainly enable a standardization of wine labels. The Minister of International Trade, Ed Fast, said: “This agreement will help Canadian wine industries by reducing administrative formalities required by the labeling of wine, which will effectively reduce costs.”

Note also that following the agreement, the words “ice wine” will be given exclusively to wines made with grapes naturally frozen on the vine. This will protect Canadian producers of this type of wine and, ice wine mention will be clearly visible in these high-end products.

So it may be time to rethink the labels for your bottles! Do not hesitate to contact a specialist at IMS. He or she will be happy to advise you.