In the world of winemaking there are two different Worlds. Known as
the “Old World” and “New World”. Likewise, no two wines are created
There’s two worlds you say…?
And in both these worlds the approaches to making wine give life to
two very distinctive styles of wines. The “Old World” and the “New
Geography plays a huge part in the flavor profile of wines but
tradition also impacts the approach winemakers take when deciding on
what sort of artistic quality they use and at the end of the day what
type of wine style they intend to make.
So, wines made in the “Old World” style are related to the traditional
winegrowing regions in Europe such as France, Italy, Spain and
Portugal. These regions are famous for their early history in wine
production, with their style of wine regularly showing a level of
elegance and finesse sought out by the global wine enthusiast.
On The other Hand, wines made in the “New World” are from countries
where winemaking is a comparatively modern industry. Places like North
America, Australia and New Zealand have a winemaking history that is
only 100 to 200 years old. These wine producing countries are often
climatically varied to those of their European counterparts. So these
‘New World’ regions frequently experience longer, warmer summers that
result in riper fruit with more obvious varietal characteristics.
What is the real difference in Old World and New World Wines?
With a very deep and wide history, the Old World winemaking approach
evokes images of age old, traditional wine practices where, because of
the climate, the varietal expression is difficult so the winemaker
will focus more on creating a wine that has wonderful structure and
texture. The Old World style develops softer, more subdued oak flavor
profiles – to ensure balance with those subtler varietal expressions.
These wines tend to be defined by the winemaker’s knowledge of
blending theory where the winemaker tries to produce a ‘seamless
transition across the palate’, from start to finish.
Winemakers in the New World tend to be blessed with a warmer climate
and so their approach will often focus on emphasizing the evident
primary fruit features delivered naturally by Mother Nature.
Yet again, to ensure balance, the winemakers may employ stronger oak
influences and will create wines that are noticeably fuller bodied
than their European counterparts. These factors are most notable in
the highly regarded big & bold Shiraz style for which Australia is
most famous and Wines from Napa Valley
Which style is better?
Wine is in the eye of the beholder. That’s entirely up to you, your palate,
and how you’re trying to enjoy your wine or what food you are pairing it with.
Wines made in the the Old World style are often designed with the
intention of cellaring, allowing the further development palate
structure and texture over time. For some this approach is considered
the hallmark method of crafting exceptional wines – particularly the
long-lived Cabernet Sauvignon from Bordeaux, France.
But in no way does this mean that New World wines are not designed to age.
The approach is just different. For example, In fact it is well known historically
that the Wines of Napa Valley have outscored the wines of France head to head
in several very famous competitions over the past 40 years.