We look at the year mentioned on a wine bottle label and wonder what it stands for and why it holds such importance to be placed upfront. Is it the year the bottle was released in the market? Does it tell us how old the wine is? Also, is the year on the wine bottle equally important for young wines, as it is for vintage wines? Wine vintage is the term used for the year mentioned on a wine label, and here’s all you need to know about it:

Wine Vintage and its relevance for old and new wines

The year on the bottle of wine indicates the year of vintage, meaning the year in which the grapes were harvested to make the wine. Specifically, it refers to the year when the grapes used to make the wine were grown. Winemakers will typically put the vintage year on the

label to indicate the specific growing season and climatic conditions that affect the grapes, as these factors can have a significant impact on the taste of the wine.

 This is important in the case of very fine and expensive wines as it is a key factor in determining the quality and character of the wine. Growing conditions and climate vary from year to year and it is believed that these fluctuations have a direct impact on the harvest of grapes and wine production.

The ideal growing conditions for wine grapes consist of hot days, followed by cool nights and dry weather. The harvest produced in these optimum conditions will be good quantitatively and the fruit will be ripe and sweet. However, a dip in daytime temperatures and rainfall will have a negative impact, yielding a low harvest, that too of a fruit that is not as ripe as it is supposed to be. So, the better the growing conditions, the finer the wines and thus the more expensive they are likely to be.

Wine vintage has more importance for winemaking regions with unpredictable weather, like France, Italy, Austria, Northern Spain etc. However, in regions where the weather remains the same year after year, like Australia, Portugal, Central Spain, California and Argentina, the product is consistent and thus the year of vintage holds less value.

In the case of young, everyday drinking wines that are inexpensive, wine vintage year can be used to indicate its youthfulness. Most such wines are not intended for ageing and must be consumed as early as possible. So, the vintage year serves as a cue to choose a bottle as young and fresh as possible.

Trivia: You might have come across a wine with the label saying “non-vintage” or “NV”, this means that the grapes used to make the wine were harvested from different years.

Wine vintage is more important for collectors of premium old wines, as the year mentioned on the label holds the potential to rocket or plummet a bottle’s price. But for regular consumers, it is mostly a piece of the large puzzle that is the wine tasting experience- it may add some value to the wine, but it isn’t the only parameter to base its worth on.

Why Does Red Wine Give You Headache
import wine to indiaAre Sulfites In Wine Dangerous For You?