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 is the difference between a "domaine" and a "château"?
—Howard B., via the Internet
Hundreds of wine brands out there have either "château" or "domaine" in their names (and a few even have both). Often they're used interchangeably to refer to a place where wine is made. If you're looking for a more nuanced answer, château is the French term for a country house or castle, and is most commonly used by the wineries of Bordeaux, while the term domaine, which refers to a territory or empire, is typically associated with the wineries of Burgundy. Remember, though, that in most countries there are no legal restrictions on the use of these terms, so there may not be an actual, physical "château" at all ... much less a "domaine."