Saturday, September 26, 2015

Original Wine Crates (OWC's): Which Country Makes the Most?

One of the most common questions we get is "Which country will my wine crates be from?" The answer to this question is usually France because the majority come from here.

French vineyards make the most OWC's by far. Depending on the region of France you'll get a few different sizes. Bordeaux for instance is the world leader of large wine crates that hold 12 bottles of wine, but Burgundy and Rhone make the most wine boxes that hold 6 bottles. French wineries have an old world look and style.

Italian vineyards come in second as far as the amount of vineyards that make them. Italy is also from the old world. Your going to see mostly 6 bottle wine boxes from here.

Every other country is from the new world. My personal new world favorite is Napa Valley. No other place produces wine boxes with such high detail and intricate designs.

Below is a breakdown of the types of crates you'll typically find within these countries and their respective regions:

French Regions

  • Bordeaux: Large 12 Bottle Crates & Magnum 6 Bottle Boxes

Large 12 Bottle Wooden Wine Crate (Chateau Dauzac)

Magnum 6 Bottle Wooden Wine Box (Chateau La Fleur)

  • Burgundy: Medium 6 Bottle Boxes & Large 12 Bottle Crates 

Medium 6 Bottle Wine Box (Olivier Leflaive)

Large 12 Bottle Wine Crate (Domaine Laflaive)

  • Rhone: Medium 6 Bottle Wine Boxes (Generally Chateauneuf Du Pape)

Two 6 Bottle Wooden Wine Boxes (Chateauneuf Du Pape)

  • Sauternes: Large 24 1/2 Bottle Crates (These are rare - 22" L X 10" W X 8 1/2" H)

Two 24 "Half Bottle" Wine Crates

*Here's the problem: 24 1/2 bottle crates are so rare that we only had a picture of 2 from Bordeaux! I know I said that most Bordeaux crates come in large 12 bottle size, but this an exception to the rule. Most Sauternes vineyards make 24 1/2 bottle crates and most Bordeaux make large 12 bottle crates.

  • Italy: Medium 6 Bottle Boxes & Single Bottle Crates

Italy comes in second as the country that produces the most amount of wine boxes and crates. For the sake of simplicity we won't get too deep into regions and sub-regions of Italy, because it requires a degree to get a handle on that topic! The most popular regions of Italian wine crates are Barolo, Tuscany and Campania (North, Central and South). Most wine boxes from Italy come from Tuscany (Super Tuscan and Montalcino). There's only a few vineyards from Campania that make them. Just about every one is either a medium 6 bottle or a single.

6 Bottle Wooden Wine Box (Sassicaia Super-Tuscan)

Single Bottle Crates from Various Italian Regions

*We have an ongoing waiting list for Italian wine boxes. Demand for them is high this year and they've become Collector's items.

Next on the list is The Mediterranean vineyards which includes Spain and Portugal. We generally get in more from Portugal than Spain, but there's only 8-9 vineyards from Portugal that make them. The Spanish market is slightly more robust, but fewer and fewer are making them so they are becoming more rare.

  • Mediterranean Vineyards: Medium 6 Bottle Boxes, 3 and 6 Bottle Flats & Single Bottle Crates


Oversized Medium 6 Bottle Wine Box (La Nieta)

3 Bottle Flat Case (Bodegas Vega Sicilia)

Single Bottle Wine Crate (Aalto)


3 Bottle Wooden Wine Case

4 Half Bottle Wine Crate (Sandeman)

  • Napa and US Vineyards: Medium 6 Bottle Boxes and Flat 6 Bottle Cases
You would think that the largest wine making region in the US would be higher up on the list but this isn't the case. Napa vineyards make some of the most beautiful crates in the world, but only the most top-shelf vintages get these special wine boxes. On top of this, these high end production futures are bought up quickly by investors way before the wine actually comes out (Sometimes even before the grapes come off the vines). This mix of tiny production futures and investor enthusiasm make wine crates from Napa exceptionally rare.

Oversized 6 Bottle Wine Box

6 Bottle Flat Wooden Wine Case

  • South America: 6 Bottle Wine Boxes, 6 Bottle Flats & Single Bottle Crates
The most popular vineyards and wineries in South America are Chile and Argentina. Very few OWC's are made in these two countries, but the ones that are make for great wine cellar decor enhancements.


6 Bottle Wine Box


6 Bottle Wooden Wine Case

Single Bottle Wine Crate (Casa Lapostolle)

  • Australia: 6 Bottle Wine Boxes
Unfortunately there's only 3-4 Australian vineyards that I know of that make them. The few that are out there are sturdy and well crafted. Elderton is the most popular wine box of Australia, and it's the only picture we have. I haven't seen one of these in quite some time..

So this about sums up where the majority of OWC's come from. There are a few exceptions to this list such as Italian & Napa large 12 bottle crates (I believe there is 2-3 vineyards a piece on those). I didn't add Champagne in this list because box designs in the region change frequently. There are also other other states in the US that make crates such as Washington and Oregon but few if any arrive to us.

Looking for OWC's for decoration or wine cellar shelving? Give us a call or shoot me an e-mail.


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