Did you know that for a wine to be of a certain vintage (year on the bottle) the grapes need only be 95% from that year? That sounds wierd but its not bad because producers can use grapes of different vintages to produce different tastes and smells. They can also get some use out of good vintages that didn’t completely sell out. It is restrictive on “bulk” wine producers though because they need to try to find cheap grapes but if every year the producers of premium wines hunt for and buy up the grapes then the prices are driven up making it more difficult to produce cheap wines.
The Napa Valley Register reports that there is a proposal by the wine institure to drop this requirement even further to only 85%. This is troublesome to grape growers because if the standards are relaxed then bulk producers don’t need as many new grapes and the growers will be at their mercy. This is troublesome to Vino-philes because it opens the door to some premium producers using less new harvest grapes, mix in some older wines which they were unable to sell because of over-production which ultimately reduces overall quality of wines found in the market today.
Wine extremists are arguing that if it comes to this then why even have vintages at all? The wine is a mixture of vintages hence not really a single vintage. There is some logic there but come on.
There isn’t too much momentum behind the proposal at this point. Even the Wine Institute is pretty mum on the topic with little to no information made publicly available on it. So it seems as if this proposal doesn’t yet have teeth.
Could there one day be fine wine before and after its time? I think the bigger question is: How does this affect The Wine Life?
The answer: Not too badly because if you enjoy family, friends, good food, and good times then the good wine just completes the picture and you can still Enjoy the Wine Life…