Consumers have a right to know the origins of their wine
There are more than 1 million wine producers in the world, and according to Impact Databank they produce more than 31 billion cases of wine each year. As consumers navigate this ever-expanding world, the information on the wine label is vital. The label tells consumers what they are buying and what they are drinking. That’s why it is important the label accurately reflects and identifies the wine’s true location of origin. Yet, in many countries including the United States, Russia and Vietnam, some geographic names are allowed to be used on wine bottles that do not originate from those places, making it difficult for consumers to select an authentic wine from a particular region.
Research finds that a growing number of consumers, however, want wine labels to accurately reflect the contents of the bottle. Results from a 2011 poll of U.S. consumers conducted by Public Opinion Strategies make it clear: location matters.
- Knowing a wine’s location is becoming an increasingly important factor when buying a bottle. Seventy-nine percent of consumers consider the region where a wine comes from an important factor when buying a bottle of wine; 75 percent report they would be less likely to buy a wine if they learned that it claimed to be from a place like Champagne, Napa Valley or Oregon, but in actuality was not. Additionally, 84 percent think that the region a wine comes from is extremely important in determining its quality.
- Growing number of consumers want truth-in-labeling. Ninety-eight percent of consumers support establishing worldwide standards for all winemakers that would require that they accurately state the location where wine grapes are grown on wine labels while 96 percent say that consumers deserve to know that the location where wine grapes are grown is accurately stated on wine labels.
- Allowing the mislabeling of wine bottles leads to consumer confusion. Despite broad interest in wine location, when presented with two labels side-by-side – one accurately labeled and another mislabeled –most consumers were unable to determine the correct origin of the wine. This underscores the challenges winemakers face with current labeling laws around the world. When a place name is misused, a part of the identity of that distinctive wine region is lost and consumers can be misled.
It is important to know where your wine is grown and produced. If you are unsure, we encourage you to ask and demand that a wine’s true origin be clearly identified on its label. Truth-in-labeling is important so you can make informed decisions when selling, buying or enjoying wines.