wine back labels

What Information Do Wine Bottle Back Labels Need Include?

It is no longer adequate to transmit only the most basic product and origin information on the wine label. Numerous options exist on wine labels to educate, engage, and connect with customers as well as increase brand recognition and reach. Wine producers should incorporate wine label strategy development into their overall wine marketing plan.

We’ve noticed a few recurring themes on the rear labels of wine bottles manufactured by home winemakers, and any or all of the following content may be present: Story/dedication/history of the reason the wine was made. A description of the grapes, including the variety and region of origin. The wine’s kind.

What must therefore be on a wine back label?

Depending on the nation, different rules and information may be required on the label. This section will concentrate on Canada.


Country of Origin

It is important to keep in mind that a wine cannot be prepared from imported grapes or juices to be labeled as Canadian. It also needs to be produced in Canada.
To ensure easy reading, the characters on the label should have a minimum height of 1.6 mm.

Alcohol Level

Describes the quantity of alcohol in a bottle of wine. A bilingual format must be used to express the alcohol’s strength. The Liquor Boards will only accept alcohol with a percentage of “XX% alc./vol.” or “Alcohol XX% by Volume/Alcool XX% par Volume,” regardless of what the CFIA standards require.

A minimum of 1.6 mm must be used for the smallest character.

Total Net

Describes the amount of wine there is in a bottle, net. Canada formally uses the metric system. The size of the bottle affects the minimum character size for the net amount of wine in a bottle. It is important to keep in mind that volumes of one liter or more must be expressed in liters, whereas amounts of less than one liter must be given in mL. (L). Centiliters are a unit of measurement in the metric system, yet the Liquor Boards frequently disapprove of wine that is labeled as 75 cL. Either 750 mL or 0.75 L must be written on the label of the wine.

A 750 mL or 1.5 L bottle must have numeric characters that are at least 3.2 mm in size. The mL or L characters, on the other hand, must be at least 1.6 mm in size.

Allergen Statement

It is only necessary for wines manufactured with at least one element that could cause an allergic reaction. Sulfites are the most typical allergen in wine. Technically, the presence of sulfites on a wine’s label is not required if the amount is less than 10 parts per million. But to prevent issues, we advise suppliers to print “Contains sulfites – Continent des sulfites” on the reverse label. Additionally, an allergen fining agent statement needs to be attached if the wine might contain some allergic fining agents, including isinglass, albumin, or casein. The allergen statement must be printed on the label in a box with black text and a white background.

Characters must have a minimum height of 1.1 mm.

Barcode GTIN

Must be present on all products meant for consumer sale. 80% should be the absolute minimum font magnification. Contrarily, if the placement is vertical, the human-readable characters should be on the left or at the bottom of the code (if the placement is horizontal).

Lot Number

A lot of code is required for all units that are meant for sale. The Lot Code must be easy to distinguish and read to comply with traceability standards. It can be numeric, alphabetic, or alphanumeric.

Environmental Proclamations

A product’s label must have the bilingual designations “organic/Biologique” and the name of the organization that granted the product its ecological certification.

Marking Product Codes and Refund Statements

Wines intended for sale must have a product production date code to comply with this rule (in the formats bag-in-a-box and TetraPak). Reimbursement statements are optionally permitted, and their characters must have a minimum height of 1.6 mm.

Additional Details Can Be Found On The Back Label

Conflicting findings have been reported in studies that have examined a range of additional characteristics on the back labels of wine bottles regarding which type of information is more significant to customers. These contain the process used to make the wine, the background of the winery, suggestions for storing it, and website details. According to studies, the significance of front versus back labels varies depending on the nation in which the study was conducted. For instance, a study in New Zealand discovered that the information on the front label was more significant when consumers were choosing their purchases, whereas a study in the United States revealed that the back label was more significant.

Information on food pairings is quite significant and influential on the back labels of wine bottles. While it has generally been found in some studies that women find back labels to be more complex and difficult to read, frequently with too much information presented, women do seem to value food pairing information more than men do. Studies have also demonstrated that the value of knowledge on food pairings is significantly influenced by income, with lower-income consumers demonstrating a greater appreciation for this information than consumers with higher incomes.

Here are some ideas for wisely using the back labels:

  • Descriptors of flavor are rarely helpful. The flowery description of a location or practice is no different.
  • If you prefer jammy, fruit-forward juice, look for adjectives like “powerful” or “rich,” if you prefer refreshing reds or whites (or pinks), “pure” and “vibrant,” if you prefer refreshing whites or pinks, and “elegant” or “complex” if you prefer, well, elegance or complexity. Infinitely more information can be conveyed by the adjectives “crisp,” “plush,” and “refined” than by the terms “gooseberry,” “graphite,” or “red currants.”
  • The better, the more specifics. The origins of the grapes, the methods used in winemaking, and other information are not only fascinating but also an indication that the winery places more emphasis on the wine itself than on marketing. Ridge Winery in California is now providing a complete ingredient list. Openness is a positive thing.
  • Understanding an importer can be helpful. These ensembles frequently—if not always—concentrate on a particular type of wine. For instance, Jorge Ordonez specializes in inexpensive Spanish wines that appeal to the masses, whereas Dalla Terra focuses on family-run Italian wineries. If you like one wine from one of these importers—De Maison, Louis Dressner, Robert Kacher, Eric Solomon, Kermit Lynch, Rudi Wiest, and Michael Skurnik—you probably will like the others as well.
  • Ask a retailer instead of searching the shelves for something that says it goes well with salmon; be careful to indicate the desired price range.

What does all of this mean?

According to the study’s findings, there is no simple way to decide what information should be included on a wine bottle’s rear label to increase its likelihood of being purchased. From this study, it is evident that there are many groups of people who, within each group, exhibit fairly similar preferences for back-label traits. As a result, various back labels might be developed for each group.

Based on the results of this study, the following tactics could be applied to increase the likelihood that wine bottles will be purchased based just on back label information:

  • Back label information for inexpensive wine should include food pairing suggestions, detailed flavor descriptions, information about the production environment, and winery history.
  • Food match suggestions, detailed flavor descriptions, and information about the winery’s history should all be included on the rear labels of medium- and higher-priced wines.

What function does wine labeling serve?

Since wine labels describe the type and origin of the wine, they are significant sources of information for buyers. Often, a buyer’s only tool for assessing the wine before buying it is the label.

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