If you’re a seasoned wine lover you may have already heard the term Old and New World wine – if not then below we explain the difference between the two.
New World and Old World is a reference to the geographical location of the regions the wine is made. Old World refers to wines from Europe and Eurasia, known to be the historic birthplace of the vitis vinifera grape varieties as we know them.
New World simply refers to any other region where this strain of vitis was not pre-existing and it’s no coincidence that with settlement in foreign lands, came the knowledge of wine too.
There are different viewpoints when it comes to New and Old World wine.
Old World wines are made using traditional methods which haven’t changed for generations. These methods often rely on terroir as an important aspect. Terroir is based on the qualities derived from the land where the grapes are grown and will include influences from climate, soils to the ecology surrounding vineyards and in the winery – all considered vital to the overall flavour of the wine.
New World wine focusses on a modern approach when it comes to winemaking. This allows winemakers the freedom to experiment at will, to explore techniques and technologies and be consumer lead.
Most New and Old World wines can be identified by style. Wines from the Old World are typified by the complex aroma, elegant mouthfeel and longevity as a quality defining aspect. There is an understanding passed through generations of the best wines to match the culture, food and land of each region – this is terroir.
New World wines tend to have abundant fruit expression and even the highest quality examples do not need age to be approachable in their youth. Our focus at the moment is on Australia and New Zealand where the long warm days allow the grapes to ripen fully and achieve concentrated flavours and thus generally a higher alcohol content.
The label is also a big factor when it comes to differentiating between the two. Old World wine will promote the vineyard or region, sometimes the winery itself and not the grape varietal used.
The reason is that there are strict regulations that only allow specific grape varieties in certain regions, along with harvest methods and minimum alcohol content.
New World wine, on the other hand, will indicate the grape varietal used as these laws don’t apply. This gives winemakers the freedom to grow varieties of grapes wherever they choose.
Also, New World wine labels tend to clearly state the brand and the labels will be bold and colourful, making them stand out on the shelves.
On January 16th we are holding our first wine tasting event here at The View Restaurant, Bar & Balcony. Winemaker Gavin Patterson will be taking you on a tour of Australia and New Zealand sampling four exquisite wines.
You can find out more and book tickets below – but hurry, numbers are limited.