(GI) Geographical Indication

the closest thing we have to appellations…

A Geographical Indication (GI) is an official description of an Australian wine zone, region or sub-region. It takes the form of a text description (ie a list of grid references, map coordinates, roads and natural landmarks which can be identify the regions boundaries) along with a map. Its main purpose is to protect the use of the regions name under international law, limiting its use to describe wines produced from fruit grown within that GI.

A Geographic Indication can be likened to the Appellation naming system used in Europe (eg Bordeaux, Burgundy) but is much less restrictive in terms of viticultural and winemaking practices. In fact the only restriction is that wine which carries the regional name must consist of a minimum of 85% of fruit from that region. This protects the integrity of the label and safeguards the consumer.

The use of Geographical Indications in Australia commenced in 1993 when the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation Act (1980) was updated to enable Australia to fulfil its Agreements with the European Community on Trade in Wine and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights). This came about in response to Australia’s increasing wine exports to EC countries during the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The Geographical Indications Committee (GIC) is a Statutory Committee of the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation; and determines whether n area should receive a geographical indication

When determining a GI they consider:

· history (general, grape growing and wine production)

· geology,

· climate

· harvest dates

· drainage

· water availability

· elevation

· traditional use of the area and name.