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30 May 2022 — OIV life

The use of water in the winemaking process; OIV reports

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The OIV has examined the various technical and regulatory issues relating to the use of water in the production of wines

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The OIV Scientific and Technical Committee (CST) of October 2019 endorses the incorporation of the study of the use of water in the wine making process as an issue into the OIV work programme. A Task Force on Water into Wine has been established to deal with scientific and technical issues related to the addition of water in the wine making process and Prof Monika Christmann has been designated as rapporteur.

This document brings together in its first part, the history of the notifications sent to the WTO and the second part is devoted to the state of art of the various regulations in this area.

Addition of water is generally allowed for technological requirements and in particular to incorporate any oenological substances permitted for use as a food additive or a processing aid.

In addition, the different regulations do not specify a maximum percentage of water used for technological requirements.

The members of the Task Force have studied the requirements of exogenous technological water for the dissolution of oenological products and winemaking practices.

The lack of knowledge and transparency on the quantities of water added for oenological questions actually poses a problem of legal insecurity for operators in international transactions. 

It is important to make all decisions based on science and to not let governments play with this unknown situation.

This report identifies three main areas of investigation for the OIV in relation to the issue of water in the wine making process.

1. Methods of analysis

2. Provision regarding water addition for specific Technical needs

3. The impact of oenological practices

Read the report.