International Code of Oenological Practices

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II.3.4.4 Sulphiting



  • Sorbic acid: additive
  • Potassium sorbate: additive


The addition of gaseous sulphur dioxide, sulphuric solutions or potassium metabisulphite solutions to wine.


a)        To obtain the microbiological stabilisation of wine by limiting and/or preventing the growth of yeast and technologically unwanted bacteria,

b)       To use its reducing and antioxidant properties,

c)        To combine certain molecules that give undesirable odours,

d)       To inhibit possible oxidasic activities.


a)        The total sulphur dioxide contents when marketed must at least comply with the limits set by Annex C of the Compendium of International Methods of Analysis of Wine and Musts.

b)       The addition of sulphur dioxide can be carried out by:

  • the direct addition to wine during the wine making process,
  • the direct addition to the wine prior to bottling,
  • the direct injection to the wine prior to filling,
  • the direct injection in the empty bottle prior to filling.

c)        The products used must comply with the prescriptions of the International Oenological Codex.

Recommendation of the OIV: