Legislation

Wine has been one of several agricultural commodities that have been regulated since ancient times. The reason is the high labour intensiveness of production which has always corresponded to the price of wine. Because of that, wine has been forged since ancient times. As every monarch wanted order in his country and he did not want to lose his income, wine regulations began to emerge.

The first of them was the Bergrecht Law. It served to ensure that the king, the feudal lord, the owner of the vineyard and the worker in the vineyard and the consumer of wine were guaranteed their rights. The Bergrecht Law also served, for example, to ensure that a thief was justly punished - for example, by a fine, by cutting off a finger, a hand or even capital punishment - depending on the degree of the offence. For this purpose, special Bergrecht Courts and the Supreme Appeal Court for all wine-growing villages in Moravia were established.

Wine has been one of several agricultural commodities that have been regulated since ancient times.

At the same time, there were a number of royal decrees. In 1325, the Czech King Jan of Luxembourg ordered that from the harvest until Easter, only the wines of the burghers of Brno could be drunk in the city of Brno. His son Charles IV in 1358 ordered the establishment of vineyards around the royal cities, and thus also Prague, on all south-facing slopes. Each owner of these land plots had to start planting within 14 days. If he did not do so, the land was leased to anyone who wanted to plant a vineyard. Whoever planted the vineyard was exempt from taxes for 12 years, and for the 13th year he gave the landowner 1/10 of the harvest and the king 30 litres of wine from each vineyard. After finding out how much wine was imported, in 1370 Charles IV banned consumption of imported wines in the period from the harvest until April 24 of each year. In 1497, King Vladislav II issued a regulation on the mandatory registration of all vineyards according to individual vineyard plots and at the same time ordered a sensory control of the quality of wine sold in Prague. From 1526, the blending of Prague wines with imported wines was prohibited. Even in the 16th century, there were about 700 ha of vineyards in Prague. At the same time, viticulture was one of the most economically profitable professions in Prague.

The first wine law for the lands of the Czech Crown was the Austrian law of 1907, the first Hungarian law of 1908 applied in Slovakia.

Emperor Rudolf II found out about tax evasion from the sale of vineyards and wine and in 1590 ordered that Czech wine mixed with imported wine would be confiscated. The validity of the local Bergrecht Laws in Moravia was terminated by Emperor Joseph II in 1784 by the publication of a unified "General Bergrecht Establishment for the Margraviate of Moravia".

The first wine law for the lands of the Czech Crown was the Austrian law of 1907, the first Hungarian law of 1908 applied in Slovakia. These laws survived in small variations throughout the period of the Czechoslovak Republic, which means that other regulations applied in Bohemia and Moravia and somewhat different in Slovakia and Subcarpathian Russia. Major changes did not occur until after 1948. The original wine law was to a limited extent reworked into the Czechoslovak state standard (ČSN 56 7741), a technical regulation of significantly lower legal level. Of course, this also affected the quality of wines produced in the following years.

Teprve v roce 1995 vznikl první novodobý vinařský zákon, v roce 2004 pak druhý, v souvislosti se vstupem ČR do EU. Předpisy EU jsou totiž nadřazeny národním předpisům a ty se jim musí podřídit.

It was not until 1995 that the first modern wine law was created, and in 2004 the second, in connection with the Czech Republic's accession to the EU. EU regulations take precedence over national regulations which have to comply with them.

The hierarchy in terms of wine regulations is as follows:
  • Council Regulation (EU) - applies automatically in all Member States
  • Commission Regulation (EU) - applies automatically in all Member States
  • Directive (EU) - Member States must transpose them into national law
  • Wine Act of the Czech Republic
  • Government Regulation of the Czech Republic
  • Decrees of the Ministry of Agriculture

It was not until 1995 that the first modern wine law was created, and in 2004

Historically, European wine law has developed in accordance with Council Regulation (EEC/EC/EU) as follows:
  • 1962 First Regulation (which had only 2 pages of text)
  • 1970 Supplementary Regulation (19 pages)
  • 1979 issued 2 regulations, one for table wine and the other for quality wine (56 pages in total)
  • 1987 two regulations (68 pages in total)
  • 1999 table and quality wine in one regulation (84 pages)
  • 2007 for the agriculture, table wine was abolished, there is only "wine" and wine of Protected Geographical Indication and Protected Designation of Origi - 204 articles further subdivided.

(Links to the full text of the Wine Act, Decrees and European legislation can be found in the Wine Legislation section.)

Wines that are subject to classification at the State Agricultural and Food Inspection Authority (quality wines, wines with attributes, quality sparkling wines of specific geographical indication, aromatic sparkling wines of specific geographical indication, growing semi-sparkling wines, quality semi-sparkling wines and quality liqueur wines), or wines classified by individual Wines of Origin Certification Associations can be checked in the application created by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic at www.zatridenivina.cz. If you want to verify the origin and quality of the wine, you can easily check each bottle using the search form.