Unless a winery is located in, and gets all of its grapes to produce a particular wine from, a common viticultural area from vineyards that it owns or controls, the winery cannot designate the wine as “Estate Bottled” wine.
BATF regulations permit the use of the term “Estate Bottled” to designate combined growing and production conditions. The requirements are very strict and require, among other things, that the bottling winery and the vineyards where all of the grapes are grown are located in the same viticultural area; that the winery own or control the vineyards where the grapes are grown, and that the wine be produced in one continuous process, the wine at no time having left the premises of the bottling winery. “Controlled by” refers to property on which the bottling winery has the legal right to perform, and does perform, all of the acts common to viticulture under the terms of a lease or similar agreement of at least three years duration.
There are certain instances where a winery and the winery’s own vineyards are NOT in the same viticultural area. In such circumstances, BATF has permitted the winery to designate that the wine has been “Proprietor Grown” or “Vintner Grown” as long as the other requirements of “Estate Bottled” are met (i.e., that the winery grew all the grapes used to make the wine on land owned or controlled by the winery; the winery crushed the grapes and fermented the resulting must, and finished, aged, and bottled the wine in a continuous process) the wine at no time having left the premises of the bottling winery.
Extracted with permission from “U.S. Viticultural Areas,” by Wendell C.M. Lee. Copyright 1992, Wine Institute, 425 Market Street, Suite 1000, San Francisco, CA 94105, 415/512-0151.