How to Read a French Wine Label

Brooke Newberry
(Photo: )

Old World wine labels are often more challenging to read than New World labels. As with many European wines, the region is key for French labels. The region tells you what grape(s) are used in the making of the bottle. Each French wine region has its own label template – here we break down a Bordeaux label.

Chateau

In this bottle’s case, this is the name of the wine and the specific chateau where the wine comes from.

Vintage

The year the grapes were harvested. This wine was made with grapes harvested in 1994.

Region

The part of the country that the wine is made in – this wine was made in Pauillac-Medoc and is from Bordeaux’s left bank.

Bottling Information

The location (chateau) of the bottling.

Production Area

Also known as the official Appellation Control Statement (Appellation of Controlled Origin or “AOC”). Pauillac is an official appellation of the Haut-Medoc district of Bordeaux. This is like the bottle’s ID or driver’s license that makes it legit Bordeaux.

Producer

This wine comes from the Pichon-Longueville estate (think of this as the wine’s home “brand name”).

Volume

This bottle is six whole liters, which is the equivalent to eight standard 750ml bottles (or two Double Magnums). Happy drinking.

Alcohol Content

This bottle is 13% by volume.

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