Legal News on the Viticulture Industry

Legal News on the Viticulture Industry

By Juan Carlos Ojam and Antonella Balbo.

We share the latest news concerning the viticulture industry that were recently published in the Official Gazette in Argentina.

Minimum degrees of alcoholic content for establishments located in Buenos Aires, Cordoba, San Luis, La Rioja, Catamarca, Salta and Valles Calchaquies.

On August 17, 2021, Resolution 15/2021 (“Resolution 15”) of the National Institute of Viticulture (“NIV”) was published in the Official Gazette. This new rule validates the minimum degrees of real wine alcoholic content for the 2021 Harvests applicable to those establishments located in Buenos Aires, Cordoba, San Luis, La Rioja, Catamarca, Salta and Valles Calchaquies.

Furthermore, the Resolution sets forth that wines certified as varietal wine are exempted from complying with such minimum degrees.

It also rules that the documentation of analysis corresponding to Wine and Regional Wine from 2020 and previous harvests will automatically expire as from thirty business days from the date of publication of Resolution 15. This will allow no reimbursement of payments concerning products that were not commercialized unless the concentration of wine falls within the minimum degrees established.

Mandatory claims to be included in the commercialization of unfiltered wine

NIV’s Resolution 16/2021 (“Resolution 16”), which was recently published in the Official Gazette, imposes the obligation to include a claim in the label those wines that have turbid features. This claim shall highlight the word “Unfiltered” or that “Has turbid characteristics”.

Former Resolution No. 256/1976 established that “wine products defined within the General Wine Lay No 14.878, once packaged and under regulatory conditions of commercialization to the public should be completely clear”.

Such resolution was repealed by Resolution 16 as a consequence of a new trend in the industry that considers that the production and commercialization in the internal and external markets of wines with intentional turbidity characteristics without using filters creates specific flavor and taste. This proceeding is indeed aimed to maintain the properties of the grape and the final product without losing the technical authenticity of the wine. These features stem from the regular ingredients of wine and are a consequence of the specific production process, which does not imply a lack of quality of the final product.

Consequently, the NIV has ruled that these products must include the claims highlighting their features such as “Unfiltered”, “Has turbid characteristics” or the like. These claims shall be visible, clear and emphasized in the label and match the information provided in the Certificate of Analysis.

Amendment to the Mercosur Viticulture Standards

NIV’s Resolution 17/2021 (“Resolution 17”), which was published in the Official Gazette on August 24, 2021, transposes Resolution 22/2020 approved by Mercosur´s Common Market Group (CMG) into the domestic legal system. The CMG’s resolution modifies Mercosur Viticulture Standards governing the commercialization of wines in the union.

Resolution 17 adjusts definitions, analytical parameters and analytical methods to new technologies, updating the Mercosur Viticulture Standards pursuant to the International Organization of Vine and Wine recommendations.

Regulation 17 came into force as from August 25, 2021.

Amendments to the joint system for export analysis request

NIV’s Resolution 18/2021 (“Resolution 18”) published in the Official Gazette on August 30, 2021, established that the following analytical aspects of the product must be included at the Online Affidavit when requesting an export analysis: volume, alcohol, dry extract, reducing sugars, total acidity, volatile acidity, polarimetric deviation, sulfates, chlorides, appearance, color, scent and flavor.

Likewise, Resolution 18 provides that the joint system for export analysis request is voluntary and that the interested party must submit the form No. 1691 – “Application for Export Analysis” and sample to the corresponding laboratory.

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