Australian company Dalefold Wines has had its licence to export grape products from Australia suspended.
The Board of Wine Australia suspended the licence in late-July after discovering the company was exporting grape products that were not approved by Wine Australia.
While the suspension remains in place, Dalefold Wines may not export wine from Australia.
Wine Australia is seeking further information from Dalefold Wines before deciding the length of the suspension and considering whether the licence should be cancelled.
Wine Australia last cancelled a licence in the 2015-16 financial year.
Wine Australia found out that Dalefold Wines exported three grape products from Australia for which an export certificate was not in force.
By doing so, Dalefold Wines contravened section 44 of the Wine Australia Act 2013 and the Wine Australia Regulations 2018.
The company also engaged in activity that aimed to leverage from the reputation of another wine brand in China through causing consumer confusion.
This was done to the extent that it could affect the export trade in all grape products from Australia by diminishing consumer confidence in the integrity and authenticity of Australian grape products in China.
It could also cause harm to the reputation of all Australian grape products, relations with importers, current promotional strategies or the marketability of Australian grape products relative to competitors.
Changes to the Wine Australia Regulations 2018 earlier this year mean that other exporters may not export wine on behalf of Dalefold Wines now that its licence has been suspended.
Wine Australia acts to protect the reputation of Australian wine by regulating export shipments, conducting audits of wine producers and ensuring the truthfulness of claims made on Australian wine labels in both the domestic and export markets.
There are currently 2298 active licensed exporters.
Wine cannot be exported from Australia without an export licence issued by Wine Australia, which has the power to suspend or cancel licenses when necessary.