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1 March 2016 | Stella Bella

What is Vintage?

vintage wine grape

Vintage is a term used a lot in the wine industry and no, we are not talking about a 1960’s Mustang or your local retro op-shop charging triple price for someone’s old pinafore.

The word vintage, was first used in the early 15th century. Altered from the old French term vendage, meaning wine harvest, which taken from the Latin vinum meaning wine an demere meaning to remove (Oxford Dictionary).

In winemaking, Vintage is the process of harvesting grapes, processing the fruit, fermenting the juice and crafting a beautiful wine. Vintage in the Margaret River Region tends to begin in February through to April. This is depended on the weather conditions throughout the seasons, affecting the ripening period, fruit flavour, fruit composition, fruit quality and yields. As the workload is big and the hours are long cellar hands and vineyard workers come from near and far to create a vintage wine….

A vintage wine is created using grapes that were all, or primarily grown and harvested in that specific year. Most wines are labeled with a vintage to denote the seasonal conditions and age of the wine. It also helps to maintain the quality and reputation of the wine. Wines of superior vintages from prestigious producers and regions will often command much higher prices than those from average vintages. This is especially the case if wines are likely to improve further with some age in the bottle.

Nonvintage (NV) is the term used for wines that are not vintage specific and are a blend of two or more years.

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