Dracaena Wines

Reading the Label

As we approach crush for our second vintage, we have come across another issue that we did not think of ahead of time.  (surprise, surprise) A situation that I honestly can say, as a wine consumer, I have never paid attention to. I have also asked some oenophile friends, and they too have never paid any attention to this concept on a wine label. (Hint- look at the three labels now. Can you tell what the difference is? I’m not talking varietal or the winery name)
produced and bottledWhile I give you time to ponder that, it will allow me to provide a little preface about our situation.  We are a registered Alternate Proprietorship Winery (AP.)  What this means is that we share production space with other wineries.  It is the most financially sound concept for wineries of our size. We absolutely could not afford to purchase a building, and all of the equipment that is necessary for a winery to function.  Some time ago, someone- a genius-came up with the AP concept.  One building, one set of equipment and several wineries.  This dramatically cuts down on the overhead costs.
We began our wine making venture with one facility. They are wonderful.  We have absolutely nothing but positive things to say about them, but as we move to our second year, we have discovered it would be more beneficial if we move our license to another AP facility.  This means our fruit will be from Paso Robles, but we will age and bottle our wine in San Luis Obispo.
This new facility will allow us to have a tasting lounge. Which is something we feel is extremely important for our winery.  With our small production, it would not be feasible to have  a tasting room open for pouring. Instead, at our new facility, the tasting lounge will open in the eveining.  Think of it as a Starbucks for wine.  There are couches, tables, wifi and you can sit and relax while you are sipping on a purchased glass of wine. (preferably, Dracaena Wines) 
Now, back to our newest issue.  Were you able to spot the differences between the labels? If you did, do you know what they mean? The difference is all about what they are claiming in terms of where and who made the wine.  The first picture states “Vinted and bottled by”  The second one, on the left, is claiming “Cellared and bottled by” and the third one, on the right states “Produced and Bottled by.”  Did you spot that? Have you ever paid attention to these claims on a wine label?  We have not.  
Now for what they mean. According to the TTB who regulates/approves labels, “Produced and Bottled by”  means that a minimum of 75% of grapes were fermented and bottled by the winery at the stated address.  Interestingly, it does not mean that the winery grew the grapes themselves. “Made and Bottled by” and “Vinted and Bottled by” indicates that a minimum of 10% of the wine was fermented at the winery address and the barrels were stored at that same address.  Finally, “Cellared and Bottled by” means that the winery that is selling the wine has crushed their grapes at one location, but has stored their barrels at another location.
Here lies our problem.  Since we crushed and fermented the grapes (made the wine) at our original facility if we want to claim “Produced and Bottled by Dracaena Wines” we will need to keep our barrels and bottle at this facility.  If we are willing to put on our label “Cellared and Bottled by Dracaena Wines” we can move our barrels, currently in Paso Robles, to our new facility in San Luis Obispo and bottle there.  We would prefer the second option since it would be more cohesive to have all our vintages in one location.
We personally do not think this is a major concern.  Does it truly matter if we bottle in a different location than where the wine went into the barrels?  The fruit is still from Paso Robles.  It does not make the wine less inferior because we move the barrels, nor doesnot moving make the wine more exceptional. We think it is just a matter of logistics and another example of how the government regulates the system.
At this point, we are going back to our original question, have you ever noticed any of these statements on a bottle and decided to buy or not buy a wine because of it?  Please comment and let us know if you have an opinion on this label declaration.
~Slainte!

Comments (9)

  1. Jamie Gall

    I have NEVER noticed those terms on a label before… when I look at the label, I pay attention to the Winery, where the grapes were grown, etc… I’d go with the Cellared and Bottled by.

    Reply
    1. Lori - Michael Budd

      Thank you very much for your comment. We have never paid attention either, but apparently there are some people (on FB) who have mentioned they do care. I have to go with you, cellared and bottled seem fine to me!

      Reply
  2. thedrunkencyclist.com

    I have noticed the statements, but have never, ever, made any sort of decision based on them.

    Reply
    1. Lori - Michael Budd

      Thank you for the comment. I’m glad to hear that! Heck, I the whole French negotiants concept, in my opinion proves that it shouldn’t matter. But always good to get other people’s opinions.

      Reply
  3. Michelle Williams

    I have never noticed this statement and I personally do not think it matters.

    Reply
  4. Lori - Michael Budd

    Thanks Michelle. That is good news to my (our) ears!

    Reply
  5. Rich Reader

    few consumers read labels (or anything else) with care.

    Reply
    1. Dracaena Wines

      Sadly, Rich, you are correct. Thanks for the comment

      Reply
  6. Pingback: The Alphabet Game of Wine • Dracaena Wines

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