This is part two to the Building Blocks Sip. After you’ve mastered those you jump into the next break down, which is … Old World Vs New World.
This is a way, when you’ve hit your next little tier of wine knowledge to help you further break down the wine world (literally the world) into smaller digestible chunks and understand some common attributes.
Simply put, the OLD WORLD is the area around the Mediterranean Sea. France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Greece, parts of North Africa, and the western part of the Middle East. Really the cradle of modern Western society, when you think of these amazing and famous wine producing countries. Wine and European history are wrapped up into each other, another reason studying wine culture is so fascinating.
These countries not only helped usher in wonderous cultural advances in art, architecture, athletics, and democracy, all the while creating and being immersed in personal and passionate wine culture … coincidence? I think not.
After that, came the New World. Think of all the areas the European colonial powers sailed around the world and planted flags. The Americas, Australia, and South Africa are the best examples.
OLD WORLD vs NEW WORLD
For me, the biggest difference here is time. The Old World—is well old. They have been making wine in some of these areas stretching back to Roman Empire days (we can all thank them for helping spread viticulture) if not longer. These areas are steeped in tradition and have been tending the same vineyards for multiple generations. Such as, Jean Louis Chave is a 16th generation in Hermitage, France. They have been making the same wine, the same way for hundreds of years.
The New World is new! It’s a brave new world with little to no tradition holding them to a varietal or style. The winemaker is only bound by their own creativity, and possibly business model. You will find some winemakers care more or less about $.
These “new” winemakers over the past decades have embraced technology and innovation to help move the wine culture forward, though now there is a growing trend of moving back to their old world roots. Which shows that the new world is bound less to tradition and flows with the fashion of the winemakers and their chosen direction.
Long story short, whether it’s old or new, there is a whole world of great wine to explore, and so many great wines to try!