Although these words are often used interchangeably, each has a different meaning in American winemaking, providing some insight into how your local wine was produced.
What Is An Estate Winery?
If an Oklahoma winery uses the term “estate winery,” the winery controls the winemaking process. The winery has complete control, from growing the grapes to bottling the wine.
Many wineries use the terms “estate” or “estate-grown” on their labels freely because it is not a legally-bound term in the federal government. These terms, while indicating how the wine may have been produced, are a broad definition.
Estate or estate-grown wines are typically grown on the same property and region. Still, the vineyards themselves may be on different plots of land. An Oklahoma winery near I-40 manages or controls the production of the wine, but they may own all, some, or none of the land in which the grapes are grown. In sum, as long as the same entity farms the wine, wineries can use the terms “estate” or “estate-grown.”
What Are Estate-Bottled Wines?
Using the term “estate-bottled” grows more complicated. Wines labeled as “estate-bottled” are backed by specific legal requirements determined by the federal government. For a winery to use this term, 100% of the wine must be owned and farmed by the same entity. An Oklahoma winery must own all the land, vineyards, and grapes and produce the wine within the same American Viticultural Area. From wine to bottle, an estate-bottled wine never leaves the winery’s premises, giving them complete control of the entire process.
The American Viticultural Area, or AVA, must be classified on an estate-bottled wine label. The AVA is the specific type of appellation of origin indicating that growing grapes used in the wine distinctly differ from growing grapes in other geographic regions. Contact an Oklahoma winery near I-40 to discover your wine’s AVA.
What About Single-Vineyard Wines?
Single-vineyard wines are when the grapes are grown in one vineyard. Because of some overlapping characteristics, estate or estate-bottled wines can also be considered single-vineyard wines.
It is commonly assumed that estate, estate-bottled, and single-vineyard wines are of the highest quality. However, this is not necessarily true. Several factors, such as climate, grape varietal, fermentation process, individual preferences, and more, play a role in determining the quality of the wine.
Ready to Discover Oklahoma Wineries?
Whether you are looking for single-vineyard or estate-bottled wines, you are sure to find some new favorites in Oklahoma. At the Oklahoma Grape Industry Council, we have over 60 members that are ready to help you cultivate a love for Oklahoma wine. Contact us today for more information, or visit our website to find a discover Oklahoma winery near you.