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Producer bottling

Until the middle of the 20th century, it was common practice in many European countries for most wine producers to sell wine in barrels to merchants for economic reasons. They then often bottled it far outside the production area and also carried out the labelling (in the sense of the wine law as bottler). This often led to unclean manipulations and wine adulteration.

One of the pioneers who advocated bottling was the young Baron Philippe de Rothschild (1902-1988). Château Mouton-Rothschild was first bottled completely at the Château in 1927. According to an agreement, all Premier Crus followed suit, but Château Margaux was bottled much later, in the 1950s. A wine marked on the label with "Erzeugerabfüllung" (producer bottling) is not automatically of high quality, but allows the conclusion to be drawn that it is a quality-conscious producer. According to the wine legislation within the European Union, the bottler must be named on the bottle label.

The designation "producer- bottler" may be used in Germany used in the following three cases: 1) by a wine-growing holding where the grapes used for this wine have been harvested and vinified 2) a group of wine-growing holdings, provided that the wine in question has been produced by the group itself from grapes, whether or not crushed, or grape must produced in the grouped wine-growing holdings. 3) By a wine-growing holding located in the specified specified region or in the immediate vicinity of that region, where the wine-growing holdings which harvested the grapes used are linked by a group of wine-growing holdings and which has made these grapes into wine (see also under winegrowers³ cooperative).

Further requirements are necessary for the designation estate bottling. Fiscal accounts must be presented; the person responsible for wine making must have completed oenological training; and the vineyards from which the grapes used for wine making originate must have been cultivated by the wine-growing holding concerned at least since 1 January of the year of harvest.

Other conditions are also necessary for the designation "Schlossabfüllung". The head office of the wine-growing holding must be a listed castle, where vinification and bottling take place, and the grapes used must come exclusively from the holding's own vineyards.

The wine law regulations in Austria are very similar. The designations "Hauereiabfüllung", "Gutsabfüllung" and "Erzeugerabfüllung" are expressly reserved only for the producer who processes and bottles the grapes produced on his own premises into wine. Producer groups may also use the term Erzeugerabfüllung. In this case, the wine must be produced in the members' vineyards and bottling must be carried out by the producer group.

Further requirements for bottling are, for example, oenological professional training of the farm manager and the cultivation of the respective vineyards for at least three years.

Similar international designations are for example Estate bottled (New World), Mise en bouteille á la propriété and Mise en bouteille au château (France). See also under Wine Law.

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