I must admit, that I learn new details about wine every day. Sometimes I feel fairly knowledgeable, with a lot of information in my head. However, there are so many details in the wine world, so many words that have a different meaning than what I first expected, that I find myself investigating the simplest things. There is also a bit of a language thing, as different wine regions use similar words to mean something completely different. One example, and what I investigated today is what is the difference between an estate wine and a single-vineyard. Why do I need to know this detail? I would say it’s because I am really interested in where the wine comes from and who is in control of its production.Its quite obvious when you think of it, an estate wine can come from many vineyards, as long as all are owned or controlled by the “estate” winery. A single-vineyard wine is made from one vineyard that may not be owned by the winery that bottles it. It’s just from a single vineyard. A wine can be both estate-bottled and meet the criteria for a single-vineyard designation.
An estate-bottled wine is made only from grapes owned by the winery. The wine is also made entirely on the winery’s property – the whole process from fermentation to aging and bottling. The winery and vineyards have to be located in the same appellation. In the U.S., the “estate” term has been expanded to include also vineyards that are managed or controlled by the “estate” winery, even if they’re actually owned by someone else.
To list a vineyard or estate name on a label, laws vary slightly, but the grapes must come entirely (or nearly entirely~95%) from that single property.