Small Lot Wines defined and Explained

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Vic Roberts

Join correspondent, Tom Wilmer as he talks with revered California Central Coast winemaker, Vic Roberts about the world of small lot wines. In wine-speak, the term “Small Lot” is somewhat amorphous. In the broad sense it’s merely a production limited to around 1,000 cases or less. Vic Roberts, owner of Victor Hugo Winery in Templeton California, says, “By definition, small lot does not inherently mean the wine is better.” Roberts notes that some of the more daring and adventurous small-lot creations are often limited to 100 cases or even a single barrel (25 cases). “For the passionate winemaker who’s willing and excited about exploration and discovery, small lots provide a venue for creative expression with limited risk.” Sometimes there’s very little at risk. Roberts’ Malbec, historically used in his signature Bordeaux blend, Opulence, has become one of his small-lot stars (240 cases). He says, “The Malbec exhibited such incredible flavor characteristics, with aromas of wild sage and cinnamon, it deserved to be showcased on its own.” In the world of fine-crafted small lots, you might miss out on an amazing wine that was released a month ago, but there remains the never-ending quest that’s akin to a wine tasters’ treasure hunt—to seek out and savor the next incarnation of incredible small lot wines.

Click here to Listen to Vic Hugo on the NPR Podcast Journey of Discovery with Tom Wilmer