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We call it small-batch, some might call it artisan, others hand-crafted. Whichever name you give it, you won’t find many of these wines on the shelves in your local supermarket, Majestic or even online with Naked Wines.
Small-batch wines often come with a slightly higher price-tag because of the way they’re made. We all know that a higher price isn’t a reliable sign of quality, but small-batch is! They’re better for your taste buds and they’re better for the planet. Let's dive into the details and find out why this kind of wine is the way to go.
First of all, small-batch wine is made with a lot of care and attention. The winemakers take their time to get the process right, making sure that the wine has the perfect flavour and aroma. Mass-produced wine, on the other hand, is often rushed through the production process so that it can be sold as quickly as possible. This means that the wine doesn't get the time it needs to mature properly and develop its full flavour profile.
Another big difference between small-batch wine and mass-produced wine is the way that the grapes are grown. Small-batch wineries often use sustainable farming methods that avoid the use of pesticides and chemicals. This means that the grapes are grown in a healthier environment and are free of harmful chemicals that can end up in the final product.
Artisan winemakers often allow grass and other plants to grow around the vines, promoting a diverse environment. Almost all small-batch producers will hand-pick grapes, removing the fuel used in grape harvesting machines which would be the alternative. Mass-produced wine, on the other hand, is often made with grapes that are grown with pesticides and chemicals. This is bad for the health of the soil and ultimately affects the taste and quality of the wine.
When it comes to fermentation, most small-batch wineries take a less resource intensive approach, using the yeasts naturally found on the grapes and using gravity to move the wine through its various vessels and stages. This is different from mass-produced wine, which often uses cultured yeasts and lots of energy pumping the juice. Letting fermentation happen naturally means less energy spent keeping the fermentation vessel at a particular temperature. Additionally, small-batch wineries often use minimal sulphur, which is a chemical that is often added to wine to help preserve it. This slow and steady approach helps further reduce the number of man-made resources and amount of fuel used.
Finally, small-batch wine is better for the planet because it is made with fewer imported products. This means that there is a smaller carbon footprint and less impact on the environment in the production cycle. Additionally, small-batch wineries often have a more localised approach, reducing the amount of transportation required and minimising their impact on the environment.
While all this extra time and care put into small-batch wine does result in a higher cost compared to mass-produced options, it is a price worth paying for a product crafted for flavour rather than for quick profits. That care and attention makes it better for your tastebuds, and it's better for the planet because it is made with sustainable methods that avoid the use of resource-intensive chemicals and reduce the carbon footprint.
We feel passionately about this at Plonk (I mean, our entire business is based around it…). In everything we do, from the service we provide to the quality of every bottle we hand-pick, we make sure our producers are fairly paid and you’re getting the most bang for your buck.
There’s no better way to discover small-batch wines than one of our subscription boxes – three, six or twelve bottles of delicious wines, picked just for you by our in-house sommelier. Take the quiz and start your small-batch wine journey here.