The wine pictured proudly states its production size of 4,500 bottles on the back label.
Let’s put that number into context. There were 26,400,000 bottles produced of Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva in 2016 (that’s ‘twenty-six million four hundred thousand’– for anyone like me who needs to see that in words)
This is just one of the lines produced by Concho y Toro, the Chilean wine producer of Casillero del Diablo.
Australia’s infamous Hardy’s produced 112,800,000 bottles of Australian wine in 2014 (‘one hundred and twelve million eight hundred thousand’).
These numbers will undoubtedly have increased to present day, but I couldn’t find reliable stats.
So the 4,500 produced of the Phaunus wine pictured, is a teeny number is comparison.
Is large production wine ‘bad’?
If it tastes good, it’s good – a wine isn’t inferior because it’s made by the millions. Something to consider is what it takes to produce something on this scale – additives are used to create consistency and marketable flavours. Tartaric acid, pectolictic enzymes, sulphur dioxide, sorbic acid, oenological tannin, oak powder, cultured yeast and all manner of other industrial winemaking ingredients and processing aids may be added.
Most supermarket wines under £10 will be made this way.
Is small beautiful?
Again, it comes down to if you enjoy the wine or not. Loosely, because smaller producers tend to have a more intimate relationship with their vines, they are more likely to get their wine to transmit that elusive quality that makes it special: a sense of place, a certain flavour or feeling that only comes from that specific site. If you enjoy the journey and poetry of what’s in your glass this might appeal to you.
There’s no legal definition for ‘mass produced’ or ‘small/boutique/micro production’. Which is why it’s good to have an idea of what the big kahunas like Hardy’s and Casillero del Diablo are producing.
The wine pictured is a beautiful natural ‘orange’ wine from Portugal -well worth a try for those in love with a full, waxy body and a funky, peachy nose. Available from Bold Wines