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If you are a consumer of wine —and I am in any way helpful with your wine buying — than these pages are the most important on Opening a Bottle. To make my list of Essential Winemakers, these producers need to consistently churn out fantastic wine.

Our Criteria

Essential Winemaker Criteria: 3 or more different wines or 3 or more different vintages

The main point is this: consistency. If they’re on this list, they make consistently excellent wines and you cannot go wrong with them.

Essential winemakers are organized by country/state. Open each link to read more.


Montelupo Albese, Italy, Essential Winemakers

Italy

Includes: Abbazia di Novacella, Azienda Agricola COS, Marchesi di Gresy, Marco Felluga/Russiz Superiore, Nino Negri, Pio Cesare, Produttori del Barbaresco, Vietti, Zenato. Read more


vineyards near Beaujeu, Beaujolais, Rhone-Alpes, France, Essential Winemakers

France

Includes: Château du Moulin-à-Vent, Champagne Gosset, Bernard Defaix, Eric Texier, Olivier Bernstein, Pierre Sparr. Read more


Vineyards in the province of La Rioja in Spain, Essential Winemakers

Spain

Includes: Alvaro Palacios, Clos Pons, Joan d’Anguera, Telmo Rodriguez. Read more


Doctor Vineyard, Bernkastel-Keus, Germany, Essential Winemakers

Germany

Includes: Walter J. Oster, Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler. Read more


vineyard near Unterretzbach, Lower Austria, Austria, Essential Winemakers

Austria

Includes: Biohof Pratsch. Read more



MacRostie Winery, Russian River Valley, California Essential Winemakers

California

Includes: Cain, Copain, Ehlers Estate, FEL Wines, Fort Ross, Qupé, Red Car. Read more


Stoller Vineyards, Willamette Valley, Oregon Essential Winemakers

Oregon

Includes: Raptor Ridge Winery, Trisaetum, Elk Cove Vineyards, WillaKenzie Estate. Read more


Chilean vineyards, Chile, winemaking Essential Winemakers

Chile

Includes: Polkura, Hacienda Araucano. Read more


Mendoza, Argentina vineyards, Essential Winemakers

Argentina

Includes: Zuccardi Wines. Read more



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