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Proposed changes to sensory evaluation of New Zealand grape wine for export

UPDATE – 6 August 2021

Decision and analysis of submissions released

This consultation closed on 11 July 2021. We received 88 submissions.

New Zealand Food Safety has considered all the feedback received and has decided to amend the process for determining that exported New Zealand grape wine is free from obvious fault through the use of a declaration from an experienced winemaker. The declaration will be made through Wine eCert and there will be no random sampling required for sensory evaluation. The proposed legislative changes are included in the draft Wine Notice: Export Requirements and Exemptions and are subject to consultation from 6 August until 20 September 2021.

Decision document and analysis of submissions [PDF, 811 KB]

Have your say

New Zealand Food Safety sought feedback on 3 proposed options for how wine for export is determined to be free from obvious fault. The outcome would be incorporated into the Wine Notice: New Zealand Grape Wine Export Eligibility Requirements. 

The 3 proposed options were:

  • Option 1: Retain current sensory panel evaluation of wine.
  • Option 2: Winemaker declaration that the wine is free from obvious fault.
  • Option 3: Third-party winemaker declaration that the wine is free from obvious fault.

We also wanted to hear any other suggestions you might have for determining export wine is free from obvious fault.

This consultation opened on 24 May and closed on 11 July.

Consultation document

Proposed changes to sensory evaluation of New Zeland grape wine [PDF, 314 KB]

Related documents

Wine Notice: New Zealand Grape Wine Export Eligibility Requirements [PDF, 859 KB]

New Zealand Grape Wine Export Code [PDF, 1.5 MB]

Wine Regulations 2006 – NZ Legislation

What was proposed?

At 24 May 2021, the mechanism for determining that exported wine was free from obvious fault was to have a sensory panel evaluate the wine. We proposed that the process could be simplified and made more efficient, especially given the robustness of the regulatory framework in place under the Wine Act 2003.

Our preferred mechanism was option 2. This option is effectively the current alternative option for sensory evaluation when there are COVID-19 alert levels 3 or 4 in force.

An analysis of the 3 options was in section 4.3 of the consultation document.

Submissions are public information

Any submission you make is subject to the Official Information Act 1982 (the OIA). Your submission can be released upon request unless there are grounds for withholding it. The grounds for withholding information are outlined in the OIA. Submitters may wish to indicate any grounds for withholding information contained in their submission.

Reasons for withholding information could include that information is commercially sensitive or that the submitters wish personal information such as names or contact details to be withheld. MPI will take such indications into account when determining whether to release information. Any decision to withhold information requested under the OIA may be reviewed by the Ombudsman.