Short Guide to Premium Wines | iberoWine

Every wine lover loves a good wine, but what do you expect from a premium wine and what are its special features? In this article, learn about the key differences in production between budget and premium wines.

Premium wines are perfect for any occasion.








What do you expect from a premium wine?

There is more and more talk about premium wine, especially its price. But what exactly is a top wine and what distinguishes it from a cheap wine? As we shall see, there is no official wine classification with determining factors or set standards by which a buyer can identify a premium wine. For a wine to be considered premium, there are a few indicators that will help you tell it apart from an inferior one – and no, price is not an indicator.

Harvesting: by hand or by machine

One of the most important indicators is the way the grapes are grown and harvested. If you want to produce quality wines, you have to be very close to the land on which your grapes grow. This attention to detail is particularly evident during the harvest.

Wines from discounters or lower quality are usually harvested by machine. Self-propelled work machines are capable of harvesting an enormous amount of grapes. These grape harvesters work according to the shaking principle: They drive through the rows of vines and shake the vines with rubber and other materials. With this method, the plant is aggressively moved to loosen the clusters.

This can damage the vine, fruit and soil, as well as contaminating the grapes with leaves and other less desirable plant parts. With hand picking, these problems are avoided, since a person carefully selects only the most suitable grapes without damaging the plant.

As you can imagine, harvesting by a team of experienced professionals is not cheap work and this is one of the main reasons for the higher price of a premium wine.

wine presses

Not only does the harvest for premium wines require a gentle manual process, but also the pressing of the grapes is an important process that distinguishes a top-quality wine from a cheap wine.

Minimal or no pressure is used when pressing the premium grapes to obtain what is known as the “Free Run” juice. This first pressing produces the highest quality juice, as the fruit has not come into direct contact with the bitter substances, such as skin, seeds and stalks.

In a more industrial setting, the grapes are pressed under tremendous pressure to extract all the juice, with no regard for exposure to the elements that impart bitter or less desirable qualities.

aging process in wine

As with other products that require a maturation process, this means that the product will not be available for sale anytime soon, resulting in a revenue delay for the winemaker. This can be risky for them for many reasons such as: B. A problem may arise during the ripening process that ruins the harvest, or prices may fall due to market fluctuations.

Aging encourages the development of tannins (tannins), which give the wine its characteristic astringency. Tannins are formed during the fermentation process, but they also develop during maceration, which is why aging in oak barrels is so important.

Depending on the wine, vintage, etc., this process can take years, e.g. For example, Spanish Gran Reserva wines must be aged in barrels for at least 2 years and bottled for a further 3 years. This is an important difference between a cheap wine and a premium wine. Inexpensive wines are usually rushed to market after fermentation in stainless steel vats, and some never touch a wooden barrel.

Often these wines are very good on their own, but it would be difficult to call them “premium”.

winery and reputation

In many cases, a premium wine is considered as such simply because of the winery’s name and reputation. This is one of the many subjective aspects of wine and its evaluation. A winery’s heritage and tradition of making good wines has a major impact.

A 20-euro bottle of wine can cost many times that price simply because of the label on the bottle. For the reasons above (and a few others), one winery has earned such a reputation for its methodical consistency and commitment to quality at all stages of winemaking. Ultimately, price is the reward for continued excellence, and as a wine buyer you will enjoy something that has a history and provenance of great repute.

One of the strengths of wine lovers is finding unknown and affordable wines that meet the highest quality standards without having the price tag of a historic winery.

As we can see, there are some very important differences between a cheap wine and a premium wine. A premium wine is characterized by the fact that it has been treated with great care from harvest to pressing to aging.

Also note that price alone does not reflect the quality of a wine. A new producer may offer a wine of equal or better quality than one ten times the price. As always, we encourage you to consult an experienced wine retailer (online or offline) who will help you find a premium wine that suits your taste profile.

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