Introduction to wine standards management plans

If you want to start making wine for sale or export, the Wine Act 2003 says you must register a Wine Standards Management Plan (WSMP).

Who is 'winemaker' for Wine Standards Management Plans (WSMP)?

You are a winemaker if you perform any or all of the following processes or actions — from the receipt of commodities, such as grapes, fruit, vegetables or honey, through to the dispatch of packaged and labelled wine:

  • crushing or pressing the commodity for juice
  • fermenting the commodity into juice or wine
  • making additions to juice or wine
  • storing, blending, or mixing wine
  • bottling or otherwise packaging wine.

Some winemakers are exempt from registering a WSMP.

No Wine Standards Management Plan (WSMP) needed: Who is exempt?

What is a Wine Standards Management Plan (WSMP)?

A WSMP demonstrates how you meet requirements under the Wine Act. It is made up of:

  • WSMP outline
  • approved WSMP Code of Practice (COP) or your own programme that has been independently evaluated
  • generic Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan
  • winery site plan
  • your own records and documents.

Codes of practice (COPs) for Wine Standards Management Plans (WSMP)

There are 2 approved COPs:

  • grape wine
  • fruit wine, cider, and mead.

Grape winemakers' code of practice for Wine Standards Management Plans (WSMPs)

Cider, mead, and fruit winemakers' code of practice for Wine Standards Management Plans (WSMPs)

Six steps to your Wine Standards Management Plan (WSMP)

If you need a WSMP, it is essential that you read the 6 steps to your WSMP before you do anything else. It steps you through the process for developing a WSMP. The process is the same for all types of winemakers.

Sharing facilities and your Wine Standards Management Plans (WSMP)

A WSMP is linked to a specific place where wine is made – normally a winery. A winery may be used by more than one winemaker or by more than one business. It is not necessary for each winemaker who uses the winery to have a WSMP.

There are 3 options for winemakers who share winemaking facilities.

  1. Each winemaker has an individual WSMP.
  2. One winemaker takes responsibility for a WSMP that covers all wine made at that winery. This winemaker assumes responsibility for all winemaking activities at that winery.
  3. There is one WSMP for the winery, but the winemakers who share the facilities also share responsibility for the WSMP.

Whatever decision is made, all parties need to be clear on the decision and the responsibilities. Winemakers may decide to clarify these through formal agreements. If several winemakers are making wine under a single WSMP, as described in option 3, each winemaker must make sure all records and relevant documents are available when the WSMP is verified.

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