In 2007, the WWTG negotiated a Treaty on Wine Labelling which set new standards in the field. The Protocol takes this further by requiring participant countries to allow the importation and sale of wine from other signatories, provided it meets minimum standards for labelling (relating to alcohol tolerance, variety, vintage and wine region), and the exporting country’s laws and regulations. As per the New Zealand government’s statement following the agreement, the key benefits of the Protocol for producers are that, once in force, it should provide enhanced access to overseas markets, enhanced predictability about regulation in key markets and will set a useful benchmark for WWTG observer countries and other non-members. “I’m pleased that New Zealand has marked its year as chair of the WWTG by the negotiation of this Protocol”, said New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser.
Since 1998 the WWTG has been encouraging a wide range of activities designed to benefit trade in wine amongst its eight member countries: New Zealand, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Georgia, South Africa and the United States. The overriding aim of the primarily New World-driven group is to provide a more reliable trading environment for member countries and reduce unnecessary red tape. In terms of labelling, the Protocol seeks to deliver accurate information to consumers and avoid deceptive labelling.
In addition to full member countries, Group meetings are also attended by other wine producing states such as Brazil, China, Mexico and Uruguay as observers.