Wine Making Guidelines

Rules of wine making are determined based on the country and region where the wine is produced. Each region has different rules that have to be followed and as such are subject to verification by local authorities. Some of most controversial practices used in wine making are amelioration and chaptalization.

Amelioration – the addition of either water or pure dry sugar, or a combination of water and sugar to juice or natural wine before, during, or after fermentation in order to adjust the acid level.

Chaptalization (Brix adjustment) - the addition of sugar (sucrose, i.e. cane or beet sugar) or concentrated juice of the same kind of fruit to juice before or during fermentation to develop alcohol by fermentation. Addition of sugar is done in order to compensate for insufficient natural sugar in the must (happens in cool vintages, when the grapes do not ripen sufficiently). The added sugar is converted into alcohol during fermentation

In March 2006, USA and Europe have signed wine trade agreement that took almost 23 years to complete, addressed key wine trade issues including recognition of winemaking practices. More information regarding EU-US wine trade agreement can be found here.

EU – Australian Wine Trade Agreement was signed in 1980's. it specifies that the enrichment of grape must with sugar (dry sucrose, glucose and other sweetners) to increase natural alcoholic strength or addition of water to increase volume is not allowed practice in wine produced for import into EU. Full text regarding allowed practices can be found hereunder Annex I, Part A. For wine imported into Australia, "addition of sucrose, concentrated grape must or rectified concentrated grape must to increase the natural alcoholic strength of grapes, grape must or wine" is allowed practice as specified in Annex I, Part B, prescription 32.