Grapevine & Wine 01/11/2010

New rules for wine in Swiss and China

China removes the obstacles to international commerce about sulfites while Swiss gets rid of the limitations about the presence of histamine in the wine

The Popular Republic of China recently modified its rules about the sulfites in the wine. The Chinese Health Department presented an amendment to the legislation about food additives GB 2760-2007. According to this new regulation, the new limit for additives in sweet and fruited wines is 400 mg/L. The maximum limit for other wines is unchanged (250 mg/L).

This new regulation meets the limit of sulfur dioxide concentration defined by the OIV for sweet wines and this will allow to get rid of some obstacles in the international wine trade. Moreover, the indication “contains sulfites” is now necessary in China for the wine labels.

On the other side of the world, Swiss removed the limitation to the presence of histamine in the wine. As a matter of fact, Swiss was the only country in the world that had such a limitation, namely 10 mg/L. The Law concerning the rules about the presence of additives in foods (OSEC 817.021.23) can be read in the following.

The OIV is introducing a “Code for wine making good practices in order to minimize the presence of biologic ammines in wines”, highlighting the importance of this matter for wine makers.

di T N