Chile has updated its regulations, bringing them into alignment with some of the provisions of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine. As a world scientific and technical reference organisation in the vine and wine sector, the OIV contributes to the harmonisation and adaptation of regulations by its members.
After highlighting the intergovernmental, scientific and technical nature of the OIV and its role in facilitating international trade, Chile, one of the Organisation’s 47 Member Countries, has just amended its vitivinicultural regulations to take into account some of the OIV’s recommendations.
On 24 December 2019, the Chilean government promulgated a new Decree No. 9 amending Decree No. 78 of 1986 of the Ministry of Agriculture. The purpose of the original Decree was to enact the regulations of Act No. 18.455, which sets out rules for the production, preparation and commercialisation of ethyl alcohols, alcoholic beverages and vinegars. Some modalities of the application of the Decree are specified in resolution 826/2020 of the Ministry of Agriculture published on January 30, 2020
The new Decree, which entered into force on 1 January 2020, reiterates that some oenological practices, which have been developed and recommended by the OIV, offer significant technological advances for wine production and foster the increased competitiveness of wines in international trade. It refers to the treatment with potassium polyaspartate in wine, treatment with glutathione (musts / wines), and treatment with selective plant fibres to reduce levels of ochratoxin A or phytosanitary products. Resolution 826/2020 introduces strict requirements regarding obligation for companies to keep registers with dates and volumes of the treatments carried out under the responsibility of an oenologist, as well as declaration to the Control department of the Ministry on the amount of water used and the level of reduction which must not lead to less than 23.5 ° Brix the treated must.
This update to Chile's regulations demonstrates the importance of integrating OIV standards into national or supranational regulations, in order to reduce technical barriers to trade.
Chile’s new Decree modifies some of the previous provisions regarding the use of water in wine production. The addition of water has thus become an authorised practice, under certain conditions, for the reduction of the sugar content in musts with Brix levels over 23.5. This practice is not, however, permitted by the OIV.
The Chilean regulations stipulate that water may also be used during winemaking to solubilise additives and rehydrate fermentation yeasts. The volume of must cannot be increased by more than 2% of the initial volume. In reducing this from 5% to 2%, the use of water for cleaning of pressing equipment has been eliminated with this Decree, since this cleaning procedure is no longer considered a winemaking practice.
However, water may be used during winemaking to dissolve additives and oenological products. The volume after these treatments cannot have been increased by more than 1.5% of the initial volume of wine (the previous limit was 2%).
In view of the disparities among different national regulations with regard to water use, which may lead to trade problems, the OIV has been called upon to find a solution to this issue in the interests of harmonisation.