The keys of the OIV to face the new challenges in viticulture and improve the quality of wine

On June 9, the city of Jerez hosted the 21st General Assembly of the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV), where a total of 18 resolutions were approved. The topics of the resolutions varied between viticulture and the environment, oenological practices, oenological product specifications, methods of analysis, and economics and law.

A sort of key actions to face challenges in viticulture and improve wine quality, which we summarize below and which are intended to boost the wine industry through innovative changes in viticulture and oenology.

As regards viticulture and the environment, the OIV has paid particular attention to Pierce’s disease of vines, caused by the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa. OIV-VITI Resolution 704-2023 proposes general principles and recommendations to combat this disease, including phytosanitary control measures and preventive actions in areas where the disease is not yet present.

In addition, the OIV updated the list of descriptors for vine varieties and Vitis species through Resolution OIV-VITI 702-2023. This is important to obtain an accurate ampelographic description of a specific vine variety.

In relation to oenological practices, the OIV incorporated several resolutions into the International Code of Oenological Practices. Treatments to reduce the content of volatile phenols in wine (OIV-OENO Resolution 657-2023) and for the elimination of metal ions in aged wine vinegars (OIV-OENO Resolution 658-2023) stand out. The guidelines for sponsorships in wine and spirits competitions have also been updated (Resolution OIV-OENO 671B-2023), which now includes the obligation to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (RGPD).

Regarding the specifications of oenological products, the OIV has added a monograph on fumaric acid to the International Oenological Codex (Resolution OIV-OENO 690-2023). This compound is used to control malolactic fermentation in wine.

On the other hand, the Assembly approved the incorporation of new analysis methods to the compendium of OIV methods. These include several methods of microbiological analysis for grape juice and other derivatives, as well as a method of analysis of soluble solids and an update of the method related to multi-elemental analysis of wine.

In the field of economics and law, several articles of the International Standard for Wine Labeling were updated. Updates on the use of terms such as “add” and “aging” are highlighted, as well as changes on the information of the person responsible for the packaging (Resolutions OIV-ECO 697-2023, OIV-ECO 698-2023 and OIV-ECO 699-2023 ).

Finally, the Assembly adopted a resolution that repeals 376 previous resolutions, due to their obsolescence or redundancy (Resolution OIV-ECO 715-2023).

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