Editorial Style Sheet for Wine Writing


Here at Vin, we take copywriting seriously. We interview winery stakeholders and team members for information, quotes, nuance, and context. And we convey our clients’ words with elegance and finesse.

But that’s not all. Connoisseurs notice the little things, so we’re extra-attentive to proper grammar, usage, and punctuation.

Of the most widely used American editorial style guides, The Chicago Manual of Style is considered to be more literary, while the Associated Press Stylebook is best for conveying straightforward information. Having worked for both newspapers and magazines, our communications director, Katherine Cole, has followed both handbooks over the course of her career.

At Vin, we use the Chicago MLS as our overriding guide because we believe that a long-form copywriting philosophy best conveys the contemplative qualities of wine appreciation. In addition, we have developed our own style sheet to address the unique challenges that arise in writing about winemaking and viticulture.

Here are some examples of some common—and uncommon—editorial rules that we live by.


Commas
Use the serial, aka Oxford, comma, after the last item in a series.

Compound Words
Avoid hyphenation if a compound word is acceptible usage.
ie: handcrafted, email, ecommerce.

Grape Varieties
Capitalize grape varieties.
ie: Pinot Noir, Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc.

Em Dashes
Use em dashes, with no spaces, to set a word, phrase, or clause apart from the rest of a sentence. On Mac, the key command is option+shift+-.
ie: Yamhill-Carlton—a subappellation of the Willamette Valley AVA—is located approximately 35 miles southwest of Portland, Oregon.

“Old World,” “New World”
When used as a noun, capitalize. When used as an adjective, before a noun, typically no caps, with hyphen. (However, clients may opt to use “Old World” consistently.)
ie: We practice old-world-style winemaking techniques: winemaking as it is practiced in the Old World.

Period
One space following each period.

Pull Quote Attribution
Use space + em dash + space + name
ie: — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Pull Quote Embedded Quotation
Use single quote marks within pull quotes.
ie: Everyone kept saying, ‘No one does it like this.’ — Loretta DiChiro

“Subappellation”
Spell out as one word.

Wine Title
When writing out the full title of a particular wine, list in this order: vintage + producer name + proprietary name (if applicable) + appellation + grape variety + ($price)
ie: 2015 Roserock “Zéphirine” Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir ($60)