Wine Words Demystified: Estate Bottled

You know the deal; the more some folks learn about a topic, the more shortcuts/slang/acronyms/initials/technical jargon can be tossed around.  I’m here to help you understand those sometimes mysterious words and phrases, thus - Wine Words Demystified!

This week’s word/phrase is Estate-bottled

According to Karen MacNeil‘s The Wine Bible:

 Exact definitions of estate bottled differ depending  on the country…In the United States the term may be used by a winery only if its wine is entitled to use a viticultural area  are or appellation of origin on its label and only if the winery is located in the area; grew all the grapes used in the wine on land owned or controlled by the winery within that area; and completely produced the wine, aged it and bottled it at the winery.

In other words the grapes used to make the wine are from the wineries property, and is produced, bottled and aged at the winery.  It’s good information to have.  I think it’s important to know the source of grapes used to make wine.  However, I think it’s often used to impart a certain prestige to a wine (and often a corresponding price premium).  As if being “Estate-bottled” in and of itself makes for a better wine.

An “Estate-Bottled” label from Halter Ranch (image courtesy of Wine Searcher.com)

Sure, it great that the grapes are grown on the property, etc., but there are many factors that determine the quality of a wine beyond where the grapes are sourced,  and where the wine is bottled and aged.  Having said that, I’m a firm believer in the maxim that great wine is made in the vineyard.  It’s just that “Estate-bottled” doesn’t necessarily equate grapes produced from a great vineyard.

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  1. Pingback: Wine Words Demystified: Cooperage « ENOFYLZ

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