Laying Down

Definition - What does Laying Down mean?

Laying down refers to the act of storing wine for the future enjoyment. When a wine is made for long-term storage, it is laid down on its side in a dry, temperature controlled environment called a cellar. Wines with corked must be stored on their sides, so that the wine can touch the cork and keep it moist during the storage time. Wines with a screw cap can be stored upright, on their side or even upside-down. However, many screw capped wines are not made for laying down.

WineFrog explains Laying Down

Winemakers can choose whether or not their wines are for laying down by selecting the specific grape variety, harvesting the grapes at the appropriate time, pressing the grapes and blending them with other types of grape varieties.

Red wines made for laying down are typically made from:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Merlot
  • Syrah/Shiraz
  • Nebbiolo
  • Sangiovese
  • Pinot Noir (lesser extent)
White wines made for laying down are typically made from:
  • Riesling
  • Chardonnay
  • Chenin Blanc (from Loire)
  • Sauternes (or botrytised wine)
  • Vintage Port
  • Aglianico (from Italy)
  • Tannat (from Madiran)
  • Semillion (from Australia)
Laying down a wine allows the tannins and acidity to evolve and soften so that the wine is perfect. Winemakers produce wines made for aging in a specific way, they know how long the wine is going to last based on experience and knowledge. How long a wine should be laid down is usually indicated on the label.
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