Domaine Bottling

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

domaine bottling, the relatively recent practice of bottling the produce of a domaine on the property which produced it (although bottling at least in the region of production was advocated as early as 1728; see literature of wine). Such wines are described as domaine bottled, or mis(e) en bouteille au domaine in French. The term is the burgundy equivalent of Bordeaux’s château bottling, whose history is mirrored by the practice of domaine bottling. Domaine bottling began in the economic crisis years of the early 1930s but it was not until energetic foreign wine merchants such as Frank schoonmaker and Alexis lichine visited Burgundy in the second half of the 20th century that the better individual producers were encouraged, and in many cases subsidized, to bottle their own production, typically with the help of mobile bottling lines. The movement gathered pace in the 1980s and 1990s and is now seen as standard. However, many domaines also now produce some merchant bottlings, and most of the classic négociants are concentrating more on wines from their own vineyards. In either case the small print of bottling information may provide the only clue to the original provenance of the grapes: if the label states mis en bouteille au domaine, then the wine is made from fruit grown in their own vineyards. Otherwise the label is more likely to note: mis en bouteille par … followed by the producer’s name.