What does “Winemaker’s Lot” mean on a wine label?

Ask Dr Vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.

Dear Dr. Vinny,

What does “Winemaker’s Lot” mean on a wine label?

—John, Horinghold, England

Dear John,

“Winemaker’s Lot” is one of those terms that might sound important but actually is not legally defined and is typically about marketing more than anything else. Other similar phrases include “Barrel Select,” “Premium Selection” or “Vintner’s Reserve.”

They all suggest that the wine you have in your hand is somehow special, or selected out from the rest of the wine for being distinctive. In some cases, a “Barrel Select” wine might actually be a wine made from a unique barrel or set of barrels … but without these sorts of terms being regulated, they typically don’t have any significant meaning. That’s not to say the wine isn’t tasty or special—it very well may be. That’s a Dr. Vinny Special Collection Founder’s Reserve Special Lot Guarantee.

—Dr. Vinny

Ask Dr. Vinny Labeling Regulations Packaging

More In Dr. Vinny

What are Greece’s Muscat of Patras wines? Are they made with sun-dried grapes?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny introduces us to two Greek fortified wines: Muscat of …

Aug 10, 2020

Should the capsule on top of a wine bottle spin or not?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains the folklore about foil capsules, or sleeves, on …

Aug 7, 2020

I tried to clean a red wine stain and it turned blue. Why?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains why wine stains can turn blue, and how best to …

Aug 5, 2020

How does Wine Spectator review canned wines in blind tastings?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains the procedure for blind-tasting wines from …

Aug 3, 2020

When will wine from Virginia get the recognition it deserves?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains why Virginia's wines aren't more well-known on …

Jul 31, 2020

Why do Champagne bubbles come from the bottom of my glass?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains carbon dioxide "nucleation sites."

Jul 29, 2020