Boutique wines are made by small wineries that are often family-run and use traditional artisanal methods. These wineries often produce no more than 10,000 cases of wine each year and have small vineyard plots that they harvest by hand. Boutique wineries have often been in the family for many generations or have been founded recently by innovative young winemakers.
Artisanal Winemaking Methods
Since boutique wineries are usually very small operations, much of the work has to be done by hand. At harvest time the whole family and wider local community will often help to pick the grapes. The small-scale production makes it easier to maintain very high quality standards and have greater attention to detail throughout the winemaking process. Boutique wineries will often do most of the work by hand, including bottling and labelling all their wines.
Key Boutique Wine Regions
Boutique wines are produced all over the world, but there are certain regions where they are more common. A great example is Burgundy in France where inheritance laws mean that property has to be equally divided between all children, resulting in many tiny wineries where traditional artisanal methods are regarded as the norm. Boutique wineries are also found all over the New World, including California, Australia and South Africa, where there's a strong cultural tendency to innovation and experimentation.