How Well Do New-World Wines Stand Up To Old-World Ones?
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How Well Do New-World Wines Stand Up To Old-World Ones?

how well do New-World wines stand up to Old-World wines

21 Aug How Well Do New-World Wines Stand Up To Old-World Ones?

Most people are not aware of the distinctions between the New-World and Old-World wines, and they tend to throw these two terms around very broadly. Many people simply state they prefer one or the other without knowing exactly what the differences between these two styles are.

The reality is that it would be incorrect to state that one of these styles is better than the other. However, the only way to understand why this is to learn more about Old-World and New-World wines.

The Distinctions

About Old World Wine Regions

Old World wine regions are the ones where modern winemaking processes and traditions originated. In this case, the operative word is related to the influence aspects. These regions exported the grapes, vines, cultures, and winemakers into various other countries.

Italy and France are some countries categorised as Old World wine regions. Let’s take a look at some examples of how these particular countries influence other parts of the world.

  • France – Regardless of what opinion you have about French wines, when you try to learn more about wine, you automatically have to learn more about France. It is where you will find the origins of grapevines like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. In fact, these grapes are incredibly influential and are typically referred to as global or international varieties. The best blends from France have become the defining point of what is considered to be balanced wine over the centuries. The French traditions have been responsible for shaping the tastes of various winemakers across the world.
  • Italy – The country has had an amazing winemaking influence which has spread extensively across the world. In particular, California is a region where this is more noticeable because the earliest European settlers here were Italian. Many of the areas in the state still carry their fingerprints.
  • Spain – The country has many native grape varieties and has dedicated significant amounts of land to grape growing, compared to any other country across the globe. It also means that they have their unique way of making almost every type of wine, including sparklers to red blends.
  • Germany – While most people associate Riesling with Germany, the country is far more than just that. However, their most popular grape is now grown in many regions across the world, including New York, South Africa and more.
  • Portugal – Fortified Madeira is a top-rated wine that is also known to have influenced Thomas Jefferson who many call America’s first winemaker.

Classic Old World Wines

Some other countries where Old World wines are grown include England, Croatia, and Hungary etc. Characteristically, Old World wines are more restrained, have low alcohol levels and are lighter-bodied as well. However, this is more of a generalisation and may not always be the case with every Old World wine.

One of the main traits that old World Wine regions have in common is that there are specific guidelines that wineries in these countries have to follow in their winemaking. The production of wines is also heavily restricted. For centuries, every country and region in those Old World countries has been producing wine in a specific way.

Modern-day winemakers also follow these standards. In many instances, the reason why people say that they prefer Old World wine is because these wines have a rich heritage. It’s more romantic to believe that the wines that you pour in your glass have been produced in a certain way for centuries.

About New World Wine Regions

Those who hear Africa or the Americas being referred to as “new” may find it strange. It’s why we are mentioning the spread of winemaking with reference to this aspect. Countries or the winemakers that have borrowed traditions from various other countries to start their own are referred to as New World.

In most instances, this has occurred alongside colonisation. Europeans that travelled and settled in many countries throughout the world started those ideas. However, over the centuries, winemakers began to get more creative or had to adopt new wine-producing methods due to the circumstances. That’s how New World wine was born.

Countries like Australia, South America, North and South America, New Zealand and China have all jumped onto the winemaking bandwagon and are considered New World Wine regions. Let’s take a closer look at them:

  • North America – California is the first state that comes to mind. The wine industry here has thrived over the years. The golden hues of Canada’s Ice Wine and Pacific Northwest’s fruit-forward wines have made their way into the wine space over the years.
  • South America – This is where French grapes were grown in vast vineyards to make delectable, world-class wines. Carménère is a famous wine, and Chile has its version of it. Argentina has its version that proves to be fierce competition to Malbec. Both these wines are unique and have an originality that helps them stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their European counterparts.
  • Australia – The wine industry in Australia has come of age. The country now produces some fantastic New World wines and has evolved in a big way. The Australian Shiraz is a highly popular wine that average wine drinkers would know about even if they had not heard about Syrah.
  • New Zealand – New Zealand’s Sauvignon Blanc is a classic example of how French grape evolved in an entirely different terroir. The local climate is perfect for growing grapes, and the innovative winemaking practices have proven that the country has the knowledge and skills to create a truly unique wine even from a steely French white.
  • South Africa – Wines from South Africa were first planted way back in the 1600s, so they aren’t strictly New World. But over the years, transformation and European influence pushed it into the New World category solely based on the definition.
  • China – The country is relatively new in the wine landscape. But its fermentation culture and history go far way back than any other countries we have mentioned here. But with most of their recent transformations, they have mostly adopted the “French Model”.

When you look at New World Wines, overall, they mimic to some extent and then innovate. By definition, these wines have less structure when compared to Old World Wines. However, they all have distinct characteristics that make them unique in one or the other way.

Custom-Built Cellars for Storing Wines

No matter what types of wines you prefer, correct wine storage methods are crucial to maintaining its condition. Some New and Old World wines are meant for immediate consumption while others lend themselves well to cellaring.

If you are serious about cellaring and collecting wines, it’s a good idea to invest in a custom-built wine cellar like the ones that we at Signature Cellars can design and build for you. Our team is here to provide bespoke solutions and help create a wine cellar that complements your lifestyle.

To find out about how we can help you design and construct a wine cellar that can provide the perfect environment for your wines, while adding value to your home, call us on 1300 570 636 or email Our experts will respond soon, to discuss your custom wine cellar project needs and pans to get started on your project.

Thanks for reading,
Neil Smallman
Signature Cellars
1300 570 636

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