A Fine Selection
Craftwines has been around for just over two months now, and the question we are asked most frequently at events is,” How do you choose your wines?” Well, our selection isn’t arbitrary, we have a clear process for selecting wines and winemakers we want to represent!
For the first selection we made for the Craftwines store, we relied on our own experiences, as well as friends and families to recommend winemakers they had either met themselves, or heard good things about. We compiled a pretty extensive list right there. We researched them, and we continue to do today. Our favourite recommendations come from winemakers themselves, who often have colleagues they feel are underrepresented. Sometimes we meet new winemakers at events, and we are approached directly quite often.
So what exactly are the Craftwines criteria?
Size: The largest winery we work with is 30 ha, but the average size is under 10 ha. This is important to us, because Craftwines focuses on small wineries. They are the ones who can benefit from working with us most, as opposed to the big wineries, who often have their own marketing teams.
People: Is the winery family-owned or family-run? We are family-oriented people, and appreciate the sacrifices that are made to keep a company family-run.
Production: Are the vineyards farmed by hand? Is the winery sustainable or even organic? What about bio-dynamic?
Expansion: Craftwines are focused on small wineries, so it is also important to us that the wines are not available on a wider range, and that they cannot be found at the grocery store or a broad selection of restaurants.
Teamwork: We firmly believe in Craftwines as a movement, it is teamwork, so we ask, do the winemaker and winery want to be a part of the team?
For the second round in the process, we gather a panel of experts. Every winery sends six wines for tasting, from which we select a final four. The panel consists of the Craftwines team and some external tasters, such as wine importers and wine journalists.
We ended up tasting over 160 wines on our Tasting Days 2016! Each member of the panel tasted and reviewed every single wine. Then votes were cast.
We have a checklist of criteria for the individual wines as well:
The wine must be delicious.
The wine must have a great price-value ratio.
When there is a tie in votes, we will give preference to older vintages over younger ones, and prefer to support local autochthonous grapes over those that are available on a broader range.
Every year brings different wines, so sometimes a wine that was delicious in one year is simply not as good the following year. When that happens, or if we run out of a specific vintage, we do not automatically replace it with the following vintage unless it also passes the taste test!
Tasting wine is, as always, a subjective experience, so the only person who can tell you what your favourite wine is is you.
So? Which is your favourite Craftwines wine?
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