Wine label Legislation

Wine Categories

The European Community built on the French AOC structure and set up a concept of quality wine produced in a delimited region (VQPRD, which initials stand for vin de qualite produit dans une region determinee). The Communitys rules lay down that only wines made in a named zone can be so labeled, and oblige member countries to control yield, grape varieties and the precise area within each denomination. Moreover, a second category includes the Table Wines.
The VQPRD wines are the O.P.A.P. ( - Appellation of Origin of Superior Quality) and the O.P.E. ( -Controlled Appellation of Origin). The former can be distinguished by a red tape (supplied by the state) placed on the bottles mouth and the latter from a blue tape. The regulations for the Appellations are the following:

With Table Wines (Epitrapezios Oenos - Vin de Table) winemakers are able to experiment with the vinification and cultivation methods and to adjust to the markets changing taste because the production regulations are not as strict. Included in the category are the Topikos Oenos (Vin de Pays) and the Onomasia kata Paradosi (Traditional Appellation). The former wines bear the name of the region, county, or town, from which they come from and the word "Topikos" (local). The regulations for these wines are the following:

Under the Traditional Appellation category we find the Greek Retsina and the Verdea produced in the Ionian Islands. The limitation of resin added to the wine is 1,000 gms per hectoliter.

The Label

Wine labels give us information about the wine and dress the bottle. They are detailed because the buyer needs to know quite a lot about a wine before judging it. The laws and regulations governing the wine industry (quality control, health standards, and authenticity) are translated on the label and protect the consumer.

A. O.P.A.P. - O.P.E.
The Label on such wines must indicate the following:

The producer may also want to indicate the wines type and the vintage.

B. Epitrapezios Oenos (Vin de Table)
The mandatory indications on the label are:

C. Topikos Oenos (Vin de Pays)
The mandatory indications on the label are:

  • The indication "Topikos" (this suggests a certain grape variety)
  • The name of the producer or company
  • The bottling location
  • The serial number which contains the first two letters of the region


Other descriptive terms found on labels for the following wine categories:

A. O.P.A.P. - O.P.E.
Reserve White: 2 year aging (minimum: 6 months in barrel, 6 months in bottle)
Reserve Red: 3 year aging (minimum: 6 months in barrel, 6 months in bottle)

Grand Reserve White: 3 year aging (minimum: 12 months in barrel, 12 months in bottle)
Grand Reserve Red: 4 year aging (minimum: 2 years in barrel, 2 years in bottle)

B. Epitrapezios Oenos (Vin de Table)
Cava White: 2 year aging (minimum: 6 months in barrel, 6 months in bottle)
Cava Red: 3 year aging (minimum: 6 months in new oak barrels or 1 year in old oak barrels, 2 years in bottle)

C. Topikos Oenos (Vin de pays)
Ktima (Estate), Monastiri (Monastery), Archondiko (Chateau), Villa
The wine production and vine cultivation must take place in the same delineated area

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