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Label Management
December 14, 2023
May 28, 2024

How to Streamline Your Wine Label Management Operations

Rangan Das

How to Streamline Your Wine Label Management Operations

December 8, 2023
May 28, 2024
Rangan Das


Wine labels are more than just decorative pieces adorning bottles. They serve as informative tools, providing essential information about the product within. As wineries produce a variety of wines, managing wine labels can be a complex and time-consuming task.

In recent years, global wine labeling regulations have seen significant shifts. The E.U.'s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), effective from January 1, 2023, introduced new labeling rules. In the U.S., a successful lawsuit by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) led to proposed regulations, including standardized alcohol content, calorie counts, allergen labeling, and mandatory ingredient disclosure.

This E.U. rule change has begun influencing U.S. sentiment toward labeling transparency. As more E.U. wines arrive with detailed labels, American consumers are questioning the lack of such information on domestic bottles, potentially paving the way for U.S. legislation. While TTB is expected to release new labeling recommendations soon, implementation and compliance will take time. 

Importance of Wine Labels


An example of a modern wine label with a QR code as per EU’s new regulations. Source: Scantrust

Wine packaging labels serve multiple purposes, acting as vital information conveyors, brand enhancers, and compliance tools. Recognizing their importance and efficiently overseeing their design and application is crucial for wineries aiming to succeed in a competitive and highly regulated sector.

1. Product identification and branding

The primary role of a wine label is to identify the wine. It provides essential information such as the wine's brand, type, and vintage. This identification is the first point of contact for consumers, helping them choose the wine that suits their preferences.

Moreover, wine labels are a canvas for wineries to showcase their brand identity and story. The design, imagery, and typography all contribute to the brand's recognition and recall. A well-crafted label can set a wine apart in a competitive market.

2. Regulatory compliance

Wine labeling is subject to stringent regulations and standards to ensure transparency and consumer protection. These regulations, often specific to different regions and countries, govern what information must be included on the label. For instance, the alcohol content, origin, and health warnings are mandatory details that must be present. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in legal consequences, making it crucial for wineries to manage labels meticulously.

3. Consumer education

Wine labels serve as a valuable source of information for consumers. Beyond the basic identification, labels often include tasting notes, food pairing recommendations, and details about the winemaker or winery history. This information assists consumers in making informed choices and enhances their wine-drinking experience. Novice wine enthusiasts, in particular, rely heavily on these details to navigate the vast world of wines.

4. Allergen and nutritional information

According to modern alcoholic labeling requirements, it is now mandatory to incorporate allergen and nutritional information, aligning with evolving consumer preferences and dietary considerations. By including details on potential allergens like sulfites and gluten, labels help consumers with specific dietary needs. Additionally, the provision of nutritional facts, such as calorie counts, caters to health-conscious consumers.

5. Market differentiation

In a crowded marketplace, wine labels are a potent tool for market differentiation. Unique and captivating labels grab consumer attention and set a wine apart. They communicate a wine's distinctive qualities, whether it's a rare vintage, a limited edition, or an innovative winemaking process. This branding aspect significantly influences a wine's success while ensuring adherence to wine labeling requirements.

How wine label management operations work today

In the modern wine industry, label management involves several stages, from creation to compliance and distribution. Here's a brief overview:

1. Designing wine label templates

Wineries often begin by creating standardized wine label templates. These templates serve as the blueprint for label designs and contain placeholders for crucial information, such as the brand name, type of wine, and vintage year. Label management software solutions are frequently employed in this phase to streamline template creation and ensure uniformity.

2. Customizing labels

For each wine produced, labels must be customized to reflect specific details like the grape variety, region of origin, and any unique selling points. This customization ensures compliance with wine label regulations and allows wineries to communicate their brand identity effectively.

3. Review and approval

Before labels can be applied to wine bottles, they undergo a thorough review and approval process. Various stakeholders, including compliance teams, legal departments, and marketing teams, may be involved in this phase. Label management software solutions aid in facilitating collaboration, making it easier to track and document changes and approvals.

4. Printing and application

Once labels are approved, they are printed in bulk. This process can be intricate, especially for wineries with diverse product lines. Modern wineries may use advanced label printing equipment to ensure accuracy and quality.

5. Record keeping

Wineries are obligated to maintain meticulous records of label designs, approvals, and applications to meet wine label regulations. This record-keeping is crucial for regulatory compliance and audit purposes.

How do wine labels differ from traditional beverage labels?

Wine label management operations differ from those of standard beverage labels in several fundamental ways:

  1. Regulatory complexity: The wine industry is subject to a complex web of wine labeling requirements that vary by region and even sub-region. This complexity arises from the importance of labeling wine with precise information regarding its origin, type, vintage, and other attributes.
  2. Label customization: Unlike many standard beverage labels, wine labels often require a high degree of customization. Each wine produced may have unique characteristics, and labels must accurately reflect these distinctions while still complying with wine label regulations.
  3. Label review process: Wine labels typically undergo a more rigorous review process due to the need for precise information and strict regulatory as well as brand compliance. This may involve multiple iterations of label designs, making efficient collaboration crucial.
  4. Digital Elements: Increasingly, wine labels incorporate digital elements, such as QR codes, to provide additional information like nutritional facts. These digital aspects require careful integration into label designs.
  5. Record keeping for origin verification: Wineries may need to maintain records related to the origin of the grapes used in winemaking, linking them to specific batches and labels. This level of detail is critical for meeting wine label regulations related to geographic indications and appellations.

Hence, label management software solutions are critical in streamlining this process, ensuring compliance, and maintaining efficiency, especially in light of ever-changing regulatory requirements.

Challenges to wine label management

Managing wine labels can be a complex and challenging process for several reasons:

Regulatory compliance complexity

Wine labeling requirements are intricate and vary by region and country. This complexity can make it challenging for wineries to stay up-to-date with the latest regulations, especially when producing wines for different markets. Creative ops management software can help by automating compliance checks and updates, ensuring labels align with current regulatory standards.

Version control and accuracy

Wineries often maintain numerous label templates for various products and vintages. Keeping track of these templates and ensuring accuracy during customization can be daunting. Label management software can provide version control, reducing the risk of errors and ensuring the correct labels are used for each product.

Collaboration bottlenecks

The label approval process typically involves multiple stakeholders, including compliance teams, legal departments, and marketing teams. Coordinating these stakeholders and managing their input efficiently can lead to bottlenecks. Creative ops management software streamlines workflow automation , allowing different teams to review and approve labels more seamlessly.

Waste and cost management

Printing labels in bulk can lead to waste if changes are required after the fact. This results in additional costs and contributes to environmental concerns. Creative intelligence platforms can help optimize label production by providing insights into demand, reducing overprinting, and minimizing waste.

Global market expansion

Wineries aiming to expand into international markets face additional labeling challenges. Labels must adhere to the specific wine label regulations of each country, including language and content requirements. Creative ops and label management software can assist in adapting labels for different regions while maintaining brand consistency.

Nutritional and allergen information

As consumer demand for nutritional and allergen information on labels grows, wineries face the challenge of incorporating this data into limited label space. Creative intelligence platforms can help optimize label design to accommodate these requirements while maintaining an appealing and informative layout.

Digital integration

Many wineries are incorporating digital elements like QR codes on labels to provide additional information. Integrating these digital features seamlessly with physical labels requires specialized expertise and can pose challenges. Creative ops management software can facilitate the integration of digital elements into label designs.

Record keeping and audit trails

Maintaining detailed records of label designs, approvals, and applications is essential for regulatory compliance and auditing. The manual record-keeping process can be cumbersome and prone to errors. Label management software offers robust record-keeping capabilities, ensuring accurate and accessible historical data.

Supply chain complexity

In today's global wine market, labels may need to be sourced from different suppliers or regions, adding complexity to supply chain logistics. Label management software can help streamline procurement processes and ensure a consistent supply of labels, reducing bottlenecks.

Changing consumer expectations

Consumer preferences for label information and design are constantly evolving. Wineries need to adapt to these changing expectations while maintaining their brand identity. Creative intelligence platforms can provide insights into market trends and consumer preferences, informing label design decisions.

Tips to streamline your label management operations.

1. Invest in label management software

  • Centralized design repository: Creative operations software offers a complete solution to label management. They provide a centralized repository for wine label designs. This feature ensures that all designs are easily accessible, reducing the time spent searching for the right design.
  • Version control: These solutions provide robust version control with digital asset management, allowing wineries to track changes, revisions, and updates to labels. This minimizes errors and ensures that the correct version is always in use.
  • Automated compliance checks: Label management software can automate compliance checks, flagging any potential issues with label designs in real time. This feature helps wineries adhere to wine label regulations and reduce the risk of costly mistakes.

2. Stay informed and adapt

  • Regulatory updates: Creative automation software can incorporate regulatory databases and alert wineries to any changes in Wine Labeling Requirements. Staying informed about regulatory updates is essential for compliance.
  • Template flexibility: Creative intelligence software can harness the power of AI to generate flexible template options. For instance, Artwork Flow Studio offers flexible AI-assisted template designs that can adapt to changing regulations or market-specific requirements. This flexibility ensures that labels can be quickly adjusted to meet new standards.

3. Efficient collaboration

  • Real-time collaboration: These proofing software solutions facilitate real-time collaboration among different departments involved in the online proofing process. Stakeholders can review and approve labels remotely, eliminating bottlenecks.
  • Audit trails: Label management software maintains detailed audit trails, recording all actions and comments during the approval process. This feature ensures transparency and accountability.

4. Reduce waste and costs

  • Print-on-demand: Label management platforms support print-on-demand capabilities, allowing wineries to print labels as needed. This reduces waste, lowers costs associated with overprinting, and minimizes environmental impact.

5. Embrace digital elements

  • Digital integration: Creative ops management software like Artwork Flow can seamlessly integrate digital elements, such as QR codes, into label designs. This ensures that nutritional and allergen information can be provided electronically without cluttering the physical label.

6. Optimize record keeping

  • Automated records: Creative ops software automates record keeping, storing all label designs, approvals, and applications in a structured database. This simplifies brand asset management, and record retrieval and ensures data accuracy, which is crucial for compliance and audits.

7. Anticipate market expansion

  • Region-specific designs: These solutions allow wineries to create region-specific label designs, streamlining the process of adapting labels for international markets with unique wine label regulations.

8. Stay consumer-centric

  • Market trend insights: Creative intelligence platforms embedded in some software solutions provide insights into consumer preferences and market trends. This data informs label design decisions, ensuring labels align with evolving consumer expectations.

Creative ops solutions like Artwork Flow can simplify your wine label management operations and can significantly enhance efficiency and compliance. The platform offers a range of features that address specific challenges, streamline collaboration, and help wineries adapt to changing regulatory and consumer demands. 


Wine label management is a critical aspect of the winemaking process, ensuring both legal compliance and effective branding. By embracing modern label management techniques and technologies, wineries can streamline their operations, reduce errors, and meet wine labeling requirements more efficiently. To see how you can streamline your wine label operations, try out Artwork Flow today!

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