A couple of weeks ago I picked up a bottle of wine that was from a small region in France. After I popped the cork, I noticed that it said mise en bouteille au chateau on it. I know that “bouteille” means bottled and I knew that “chateau” meant house so I assumed that it meant that the wine was bottled at the winery. Upon looking up the translation, I was glad to see that I was right, but I also learned that it is the French acknowledgement that the wine is estate bottled.
So what does “estate bottled” really mean? In order for a wine to be called estate bottled, the grapes must come from vines that are either owned by the winery or are under the direct control of the winery through a long term lease. In addition to the grapes being from the winery, the wine must be completely produced at the winery, this includes the pressing, fermentation, bottling and packaging of the wine.
Other terms you may see on some wine bottles include “vinted and bottled by”, “produced by” and “cellared and bottled by”. If you see that a label lists “vinted and bottled” it means that some of the grapes come from the winery’s vineyard but other grapes are brought in as well. “Produced by” means the wine was fermented and bottled at the winery while “cellared and bottled” means that the wine was made elsewhere, transported to the winery for final aging and bottled at the winery. In the same regards, if you find a bottle that simply says “bottled by” that will tell you that the winery simply bottled the wine and did not have a hand in making the wine.
These classifications do not mean that one wine is better than the other, but it gives you the sense of where the wine was made. I personally like trying some of the estate bottled wines from local wineries as it takes a lot of extra work and dedication to sell a bottle of wine that you made from the very beginning. Next time you pick up your favorite bottle, take a look at the label, you’ll be surprised on what you may learn.
Amanda is the Co-Owner of Candlelight Winery located at 11325 Center Road, Garrettsville. For more information on the winery, please visit www.candlelightwinery.com.