Maynard Amerine once observed that it is simpler to judge wine quality than to define it. This is in part because quality is largely arbitrary and heavily influenced by exogenous influences. Consequently, it will never be entirely successful to define wine quality in terms of its chemistry. Nevertheless, the majority of professional wine aficionados tend to concur on what makes a good wine, that is, what they have personally come to like after a lot of tasting. Although regrettably vague, it has been enough to direct winemakers and grape growers in their decision-making process. The complexity of this instance of the blind leading the blind is unknown. This unsettling idea is partially supported by the uncritical acceptance of some traditions surrounding the cultivation of grapes and the production of wine, particularly those that emphasize the importance of small berries, old vines, a limited yield, avoiding irrigation, etc. for the production of high-quality wines. The article discusses a few of the most important quality regulations that have been put in place to regulate wine production, sales, and consumption globally.


August 1st, 1905: This is the day when France enacted the first first appellation law of 1905. France issued its first “appellation law” in 1905 to combat false wine, which began the process of categorizing wine regions based on their physical location. The “appellation” system is the cornerstone of French wine regulation.


May 6th, 1919: On this day, the law of Protection of Appellations of Origin was enacted. Geographical indications of the origins of products, particularly wine and spirits, are protected by the Law of 6 May 1919 Relating to the Protection of Appellations of Origin in France. Despite not being the first of its kind, it is likely the most significant because it established the renowned appellations d’origine contrôlées system. As a result, it established the framework for geographical indication protection across Europe. The French Intellectual Property Code presently contains it as Title II of Book VII, where it is regarded as a unique subset of trademark law. Champagne in particular, as well as wines and spirits in general, are given specific legal protection. Wine and spirit geographical designations cannot be genericized or otherwise introduced into the public domain (Art. 10). A registration system is put in place to track the produce from the vineyard to the wholesalers. Champagne growers and distillers who manufacture spirits with an appellation of origin are required to store their products separately from those that do not.

July 1st, 1992: On this day, By Law No. 92-597 on July 1, 1992, the French Intellectual Property Code officially replaced older rules governing industrial property and creative and literary property.

March 1, 1913: On this day, Webb-Kenyon Act was enacted. The United States passed the Webb-Kenyon Act in 1913 to control the interstate transportation of alcoholic drinks. In response to claims that state regulation of alcohol infringed on the federal government’s unique constitutional jurisdiction to regulate interstate commerce, it was intended to offer federal backing for state-level prohibition efforts. The legislation bears the names of its main proponents, Republican Sen. William S. Kenyon of Iowa and Democratic Rep. Edwin Y. Webb of North Carolina. On February 18, 1913, the measure was approved by Congress and forwarded to the President. Ten days later, on February 28, 1913, President William Howard Taft vetoed the measure in the final days of his term because he felt it violated the constitution because it gave the states the sole authority to regulate interstate commerce. He included his veto of George W. Wickersham’s view in his submission. On March 1, 1913, the House of Representatives overrode his veto by a vote of 246 to 85, and the Senate overrode it by a vote of 63 to 21 the same day.


1933: This is the year that saw the enactment of direct shipment of wine statutes. The eight states that allow the direct shipment of beer and wine are Delaware, Massachusetts, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont, and Virginia. In Connecticut and New Jersey, shipments of wine, cider, and mead are permitted. To safeguard customers against wine quality that isn’t regulated, some jurisdictions prohibit such shipments.

Feb. 29, 1936: This is the day Federal Alcohol Administration Act was enacted. According to the legislation, all distilled, fermented, and other intoxicating liquids that are carried to a specific state or territory must abide by its rules just as if they were produced there. Its goal is to regulate product quality across the nation, reducing the possibility of compromise during transportation. According to (FAA Act) and the regulations promulgated under the FAA Act, anyone bringing distilled spirits, wines, or malt beverages into the United States from the Virgin Islands for nonindustrial use must adhere to the permit and labeling requirements outlined in this section. This excludes agencies of States or political subdivisions of them as well as any officers or employees of such agencies.

February 12th, 1963: Italian wine law No. 930 was enacted. The statute 930/1963, in particular, which places the Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin at the top of the quality pyramid and established the discipline of the Designation of Origin wine in Italy, dates back to 1963. (DOCG). In actuality, the new DOCG didn’t start running until 1980. In fact, Brunello di Montalcino, Barolo, and Barbaresco were all first produced in 1980, following Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG. When the legislation 164 reformed the discipline in 1992 based on Regulation EEC Nr. 823 of 1987, there were 10 DOCG.


April 2nd, 1993: On this day, A change was made to the Wine of Origin Scheme to allow for the definition of geographical units. Currently, the Western Cape, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, Kwazulu-Natal, Limpopo, and Free State have been designated as six geographical units. An example of a broad region that was established to allow producers to combine wines from several marine climate zones while marketing them under a single name of origin is Cape Coastal. The Cape South Coast and Coastal Region are included in Cape Coastal. The next clearly defined unit of production is a region, such as the Klein Karoo and Coastal Region, which is made up of various districts or portions of districts. The Coastal Region was established to allow winemakers to combine wines from several marine climatic regions while marketing them under a single designation of origin. Cape Town, Darling, Franschhoek, Lutzville Valley, Paarl, Stellenbosch, Swartland, Tulbagh, and Wellington are among the districts that are included. The wards of Bamboes Bay and Lamberts Bay are part of the area rather than a district. The Breede River Valley, which comprises the districts of Breedekloof, Robertson, and Worcester with their respective wards, is another illustration of a region.

November 11, 1985: This marks the day when Chilean Wine Legislation. Law No. 18455 was enacted. It was passed in order to safeguard the safety of wine imports, the caliber of Chilean wine, and to support the Servicio Agricola y Ganadero (“SAG”).

September 30th, 1994: On this day, another Chilean wine law, The Agriculture Decree No. 464 of 1994 , was enacted. To denote quality, the legislation creates wine-growing regions and sets guidelines for their use. An extensive list of approved oenological procedures and practices for wine production can be found in Decree No. 78 of 1986. It sets restrictions on mycotoxins and heavy metals, among other wine additives. Anything that is not prohibited by Decree No. 78 is prohibited. A producer must request approval from the Advisory Commission of the Directorate National in Vitivinicultural Matters of the SAG before using a new oenological procedure.


December 30th, 2011: The Wine Regulation of 2011 was formalized. These Regulations carry out Community provisions on wine production, marketing, definition, description, and presentation for the United Kingdom. Similar to every other nation, the UK adheres to tight regulations on the production, exportation, and domestic sale of wines.

December 2010: In this month, The Food Safety Modernization Act was passed. Congress approved the FSMA in December 2010, and on January 4, 2011, President Obama signed it into law. But it took the FDA a while to decide how the FSMA regulations would actually work, and that didn’t happen until 2015. Depending on the safety guideline in question and the magnitude of the activity, different deadlines must be met for compliance. In short, big businesses with more than 500 workers had to comply in 2016, while smaller businesses with fewer than 500 workers had to in 2017. Depending on the law, different revenue limits are used to classify very small firms, however the majority of their compliance deadlines were in 2018. The Grocery Manufacturers Association provides a useful chart that breaks down compliance dates each rule.

November 25th, 2002:  After the September 11 attacks and the subsequent mailings of anthrax spores, the Homeland Security Act (HSA) of 2002, 116 Stat. 2135, was introduced. It was adopted on November 25, 2002. 118 members of Congress joined in cosponsoring the HSA. The U.S. Senate approved the bill by a vote of 90 to 9, with one senator abstaining. In November 2002, President George W. Bush signed it into law. The Act has plaid a critical role in controlling the quality and credibility of wine production across the nation.


January 1st, 2004: On this day, The New Zealand’s Wine Act (2003) came into force. All New Zealand wine production and exportation must adhere to the norms and restrictions set forth in this Act, which consists of four parts and two schedules. By establishing standards for identity, truth in labeling, and safety of wine; minimizing and managing the risks to human health associated with winemaking; ensuring compliance with wine standards; facilitating the entry of wine into foreign markets; and enabling the setting of export eligibility requirements to protect New Zealand wine’s reputation in foreign markets, the Act’s goal is to protect public health and ensure the integrity of New Zealand wine. The New Zealand Food Safety Authority is in charge of enforcing this Act’s requirements and standards. It also oversees the export system, recognizes independent third parties (recognized agencies and persons) to carry out tasks and activities for the Act’s purposes, establishes and monitors the compliance system, and registers wine standards management plans.
The Act also includes provisions of a variety of kinds, as well as offenses, punishments, and sanctions.

August 13th, 2004: On this day, Liquor Act 59 of 2003 came into effect in South Africa. On August 13, 2004, the Liquor Act 59 of 2003 went into effect. Prior to declaration, all of the value chain categories of the alcohol industry were governed by provincial liquor authorities. According to the Act, provincial laws will continue to govern micro-manufacturing and retailing while national laws would govern alcohol production and distribution. The dti’s Consumer and Corporate Regulation Division is home to the National Liquor Authority (NLA), which is in charge of carrying out the Act’s administration. Applications for national


manufacturing and distribution licenses, as well as other connected topics, will be received, reviewed, and recommended to the Minister by the NLA. A National Liquor Policy Council will develop and coordinate policies and represent cooperative governance. The council will be made up of the Minister of Trade and Industry and relevant Members of the Executive Council of the provinces. The Act’s emphasis on social responsibility is a key component. Those who want to register must explain how they will support or hinder job creation, diversity of ownership, exports, competition, new entrants to the business, and operational efficiency. They must also explain how they plan to contribute to the fight against alcohol misuse. If you don’t fulfill these obligations, your registration may be reviewed or come with new requirements.

March 15th, 2013: On this day, Wine Australia Act 2013 was enacted. This Act establishes rules and standards for Australian wine and consists of 46 provisions separated into seven Parts and one Schedule. The goals of this act are to control the export of grape products from Australia and to support grape or wine research and development activities, the growth of the wine industry and other industries that produce wine (within the meaning of section 33 1 of the A New Tax System (Wine Equalization Tax) Act 1999), the growth of international wine tourism, and the services, goods, and experiences that complement international wine tourism. The Wine Australia Act is divided into the following Parts: Wine Australia (including establishment, functions, and powers of the Authority); Wine Australia Selection Committee (including establishment, functions, and powers of the Authority Selection Committee); Annual General Meeting of the Grape and Wine Industries; Staff and Consultants (including Operation of Authority); Finance (including Label Integrity Programme and Protection of Geographical Indications and Other Terms); The Schedule is a list of the administrative guidelines for geographic indications.


Recommended Readings: 

Wine Faults and Flaws: A Practical Guide 1st Edition by Keith Grainger. Amazon link:

The Little Book of Wine Law: A Case of Legal Issues (ABA Little Books Series) Paperback – February 16, 2009. Amazon link:

Wine Pairing Recommendation

Categories: Date ThemesBy Published On: July 7, 2022Last Updated: July 8, 2023

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