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Wine Labels

Old World Labels

Vintage   This is the year the grapes were harvested. When the vintage appears on the label, at least 95% of the wine must be from that specific vintage.

Name of the Producer or Winery 

Region   In France, this will tell you what types of grapes are used and what how the wine was produced

Cru Classé   Indicates the status of the vineyard. Premier Cru and Grand Cru are the top classifications, indicating the chateau was one of the five original "First Growth" chateau from the Classification of 1855. 

Appelation... Controllée   This tells you which Appelation d'Origine Contrôllée (AOC) the wine was produced in. This translates to 'controlled designation of origin', and is the French certification granted to certain French wine-producing areas, and indicates quality as well as location.

Estate owner name

Distribué par   Refers to the distributor.

Produit de France   Product of France. 

Mis en bouteille au chateau/ au domaine   Bottled at the chateau / on the estate.

Bottle Size
   The volume of the bottle contents. 750 ml is a standard size bottle and is the equivalent of 25.4 ounces, or about five glasses or wine.

Alcohol by Volume/ Alcohol content  Wines designated as “Table Wine” (7 to 14 percent alcohol) are not required to show alcohol content. Otherwise, these wines with 7-14 percent state the alcohol content. For wine that exceeds 14 percent alcohol, the label must reveal that information.

 

New World Labels

Reserve wine    Winemakers give this label to some wines to imply that is of a higher quality than usual, or a wine that has been aged before being sold, or both.

Name of the Winery or brand name.

Vintage    This is the year the grapes were harvested. When the vintage appears on the label, at least 95% of the wine must be from that specific vintage.

Place of origin/geographical growing area  This tells you where the grapes came from. If the specific wine region or "Viticultural Area" like Napa or Margaret River is on the label, at least 85% of the grapes must come from that region. If the wine is labeled by county, such as Mendocino County, a minimum of 75% of the grapes must come from that county. Even if the wine region on the label is simply "California," as in many well-priced wines, you can be assured that 100% of the grapes are from California.

Single Vineyard  You might see the name of a specific vineyard on the label, which indicates that a minimum of 95% of the grapes came from one particular vineyard.

Type of wine  It might be varietals, generic or property wines. If the variety is on the label, the wine must contain at least 75% of the named grape, though many wineries use 100%. 

Location of Production

Bottle Size  The volume of the bottle contents. 750 ml is a standard size bottle and is the equivalent of 25.4 ounces, or about five glasses or wine.

Alcohol by Volume/ Alcohol content   Wines designated as “Table Wine” (7 to 14 percent alcohol) are not required to show alcohol content. Otherwise, these wines with 7-14 percent state the alcohol content. For wine that exceeds 14 percent alcohol, the label must reveal that information.