2012 has been a year of change for the export regulations between the U.S. and the EU for organic products. In 2012, the EU and U.S. signed an equivalency agreement for organic products; however, because the EU did not have standards for organic wine while equivalency negotiations were taking place, this equivalency agreement does not cover wine. In July of 2012, the EU implemented organic winemaking standards that must be met for any wine to be sold as organic in the EU. These standards are different from the U.S. standards as the EU prohibits several winemaking practices that are allowed in the U.S., and allows several winemaking materials that are prohibited in the U.S. Additionally, labeling requirements are different. Wines produced from the 2012 harvest will be required to meet this new EU standard if they are to be sold in EU member states, in addition to meeting NOP wine production regulations.
If you are shipping organic wine to the EU (including wine labeled as “Made with Organic Grapes”), or producing or labeling organic wine that is shipped by anyone else to the EU (including wine labeled as “Made with Organic Grapes”), these changes may affect the way you process grapes from the 2012 harvest. Please contact Sarah Reed, CCOF Handler Certification Supervisor at (831) 423-2263, ext. 14 or by email with any questions you may have.