Rules for wine show medals to extend to packaging and promotions

The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia has announced tighter rules on the use and display of wine show medals.

The changes follow a review over recent months into the existing Code of Practice for the Display of Awards.

Federation Strategy & International Affairs General Manager Tony Battaglene said tightening the code would be of particular interest to national, state and regional show organisations around the country as well as winemakers, retailers and consumers.

"We have been reviewing the code over recent months and particularly how it applies to not just bottles but packaging more generally, and how medals are used in marketing wines and the companies behind them," Mr Battaglene said.

"While gold, silver and bronze discs may for example form part of a logo or brand, the code is now very clear that they should not be used to give the impression that a particular wine or winery has won an award when they have not," he said.

"Also, new rules are coming in that we are not just talking about the vessel or bottle that a wine comes in but we have broadened the scope to deliberately include packaging and marketing materials.

"Including packaging and marketing in the code and specifying that wines found to be in breach of the rules may be ineligible to enter wine shows are all geared to protect the integrity of legitimate wine show medals that have been judged and awarded on merit.

"The code acts as guidelines to assist wine shows administer their prizes and, thanks to the new rules, any company found to be in breach may find themselves ineligible to compete or even stripped of recognition."

The guidelines were last updated seven years ago. They were originally put in place in 2003 to give wine shows, winemakers and consumers some ground-rules to follow;

Code of Practice for the Display of Awards

The review was conducted by the Federation and the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology.