In December 2007, the reform of the European wine market organisation was decided. Among other things, it concerns the planting rights for vines in the European Union (EU), the admissibility of certain oenological practices and the wine labelling law. The new regulations on oenological practices, designations of origin and geographical indications as well as on labelling and presentation came into force on 1 August 2009. In 2012, the EU Commission will present a report summarising the experience gained in implementing the reform and its impact.
All EU member states are affected by the amendment of the wine labelling law. In essence, the existing protected designations of origin for foodstuffs are also to be applied to wine. Already since 2006, the EU agricultural law knows the terms "protected geographical indication" (PGI) and "protected designation of origin" (PDO). A food with PGI status must be produced, processed and/or manufactured within the named area of origin. In the case of foodstuffs with PDO status, all production stages (i.e. production, processing and manufacture) must take place within the specified region of origin and in accordance with recognised and defined procedures. The corresponding agricultural products, which then bear their geographical origin in the name (e.g. Allgäu mountain cheese, Black Forest ham, Nuremberg gingerbread, Dortmund beer), are registered as European Community trademarks and are thus legally protected against misuse of the name and imitation. The EU wine market reform transfers this model to the wine sector and differentiates between wines with protected designation of origin, wines with protected geographical indication and wines without designation of origin.