Wine Australia has suspended the export licence of Dandelion Vineyards until May 1, 2020 after finding that the exporter unintentionally contravened the Wine Australia Act 2013 (Act).
Dandelion was found to have made label claims that were not supported by records kept under the Label Integrity Program (LIP), and subsequently selling and exporting wine with misleading label claims.
The LIP is a compulsory record-keeping system established under the Act. The LIP is administered by Wine Australia to ensure the truth of claims made about the vintage, variety and geographical indication (GI) of wine.
Under the Act, it is an offence to make label claims that are not supported by records kept in accordance with the LIP, or to sell wine with misleading label claims.
There are no concerns about the quality, health or safety of the products produced by Dandelion and Wine Australia is confident that all recipients of the mislabelled wine have been informed, and that there is now no wine on the market with incorrect labels.
The licence suspension reflects Wine Australia’s commitment to ensuring consumers worldwide can be confident that claims made about vintage, variety and GI on Australian wine labels are truthful.
Wine Australia noted: “It is to Dandelion’s credit that it made admissions, took steps to notify its customers of non-compliance matters, rectified known non-compliance matters, took steps to improve its record keeping practices and cooperated with Wine Australia’s investigations.”
To minimise the potential for regulatory action, wine producers that identify potential labelling issues should contact Wine Australia voluntarily to discuss how the issues can be addressed.
Dandelion may make an application to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for review of Wine Australia’s decision in accordance with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1995. The prescribed time for making an application under the Act is 28 days from notification of the licence suspension.
Two export licences cancelled in 2018
Wine Australia cancelled the export licence held by Mayfield Family Wines Pty Ltd in November 2018.
Wine Australia’s investigations found that Mayfield Family Wines did not keep proper records and sold wine to another party, incorrectly claiming it to be from the Barossa Valley region. That wine was subsequently exported to Europe by another party.
The Board of Wine Australia suspended the licence to export grape products from Australia held by Dalefold Wines (Australia) Pty Ltd in July 2018.
A website at dalefold.com had images of wine sold under the Dalefold branding that bore a resemblance to Penfolds’ labels.