Sunday, December 18, 2016
The 6 Most Traditional Wine Crate Designs
Original wine crates date back to the 16th century. Prior to that, wine was transported in wood barrels during the BC era, until the invention of glass wine bottles in the late 1500's AD. The ancient Romans picked up that wood barrel transport trick from the Gauls, and most French wine is still fermented in oak barrels to this day.
Not all French vineyards still make wooden wine crates however. Most French vineyards stayed in the family for many generations, but in the 19th century things started to change. It could be modern technology, or it could be that the younger generation wasn't interested in viticulture because there were so many options available to them. Whatever the reason, a great many vineyards in France were sold out in estate sales or mergers over the years.
Fortunately, many vineyards that were sold to outside parties still maintained the old ways because they worked so well. Some of the timelessly traditional wine crate designs are below:
Chateau Pape Clement (Chateauneuf Du Pape) - Named after Pope Clement V, the vineyard is one of the oldest in France
Domaine De Marcoux (Chateauneuf Du Pape) - Another vineyard from Chateauneuf Rhone, Domaine De Marcoux has been in the same family producing fine vintages since the 1300's
Domaine Beaucastel (Chateauneuf Du Pape) Yet another Chateauneuf. This is because the Rhone region of France is the oldest to have been producing wines similar to the ones we drink today. The most traditional styles of wine crate design labels are typically either Papal symbols or cotes of arms.
Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste (Medoc) Getting into Bordeaux, the 5th Growth Grand Puy Lacoste has been producing modern-style wines since the 16th century. The design is simple yet elegant and deeply engraved. Very traditional.
Chateau Y'quem (Sauternes) - One of the oldest and most renowned vineyards in Sauternes, the famous desert wine Chateau Y'quem holds great prestige, as well as having one of the highest detailed traditional designs.
Chateau Haut-Bergey (Leognan) Haut-Bergey was a noble house dating back to the 16th century, and began making wine during that time. The branding on the wine crate is the house of Haut-Bergey and it's truly stunning.
Most traditional wine crate design labels can range between very simple to highly ornate. Unfortunately Burgundy is unrepresented in this list due the to the great lack of wineries in the region that make wine crates. It's safe to say that Burgundy has been making wine on it's land for thousands of years, but many of the oldest Burgundian vineyards were purchased during modern times making it difficult to pin down genuinely traditional designs.
We also had to leave out alot of the 1st - 5th growths because many of them were making wine crates post-17th century. There's many more wine crates with unique and traditional designs, but the vineyards above represent some of the oldest and best.
Send me an e-mail or give me a call to buy some antiquarian wine crates to decorate your home or wine cellar. They make for excellent decorations and will beautifully enhance your decor!