Brand name, region, grape variety, vintage…—while reading a wine label, these things immediately catch your attention. But upon a careful look, you might find a few bottles boasting 100% Single Vineyard or Estate Grown Wines. Two different terms with of course different meanings but there are also wines that fall in both categories?! Your curiosity is completely justified—read on for the details.
Starting with the basics—the difference between the two
The terms by themselves are suggestive—while the former is for wines sourced from one site, the latter refers to the ones made using grapes from the vineyard(s) owned by an estate.
It is not necessary that wines from single-vineyard are bottled at the winery that owns it (The ones that are would fall under both categories). Whereas, all estate wines undergo fermentation process and are bottled only at the brand’s winery, hence, also known as estate-bottled wines.
Which one is better?
Now that we’ve figured out the difference, let’s come back to the awaited question—"Which of the two is better?". While estate-grown wine would mean that the plantations were meticulously taken care of by the brand, ensuring premium quality, on the other hand, single-vineyard wine would reflect the terroir characteristics (This is because the vineyards are so large that they have their own microclimate which may drastically vary from its neighbour). A lot of things like soil quality, exposure to the sun, temperature fluctuations and viticultural practices are considered for the site selection.
These days, the industry has particularly witnessed a growing demand for single-vineyard wines for the purity of flavours. Interestingly, grapes sourced from a site that lies within a mile’s distance from a winery will produce wines of a different character, since the fruit spends less time on the skin after being harvested—essentially an estate-grown, single-vineyard wine.
Now that you know, which one would you prefer—single-vineyard or estate-grown wine? Do let us know in the comment section below. Also, we’d recommend you to check out our blog post on biodynamic viticulture for a better understanding.