Have you ever wondered what the date on a bottle of wine means? Join us as our Director of Wine, Mari Wells Coyle, walks us through the meaning behind a wine’s vintage, and how a year can contribute to the taste, quality, and flavor profiles of a bottle of wine below.
What Does a Wine’s Vintage Mean?
The date on a bottle of wine, or vintage, refers to the wine’s harvest year. For example, if a wine bottle has the year 2017 on it, that means that the grapes were picked and harvested in 2017. In California wines, 85% of the grapes must be from the stated vintage on the bottle. In smaller American Viticultural Areas, or AVAs like Napa Valley, a more stringent quality standard applies where 95% of the grapes must be from the indicated vintage year.
So Much More Than a Number
Ever since I was a young winemaker, my years have been measured according to vintage. The vintage when I got a new job, the vintage I was married, and of course the vintages my boys were born. Each year holds so much meaning with so many memories.
In a bottle of wine the flavors can be determined by the weather conditions of the growing year, or vintage. Was there a lot of rain that year? Were there high temperatures or mild temperatures? What time of the year did we harvest the grapes? There are so many contributing factors in the growing season of a vintage year that determine how the wine will taste.
Learn More About Winemaking
For more tips, tricks, and lessons about wine, follow us on social media and check back on our blog for more posts from me, Mari, Director of Wine and one of the winemakers at ONEHOPE! Keep an eye out for updates as we get ready to open our world-class Napa Valley tasting room in Rutherford.
-Mari Wells Coyle, Director of Wine