Is it true that old vines are better than young vines?

Is it true that old vines are better than young vines?

Is it true that old vines are better than young vines?

A phrase that almost everyone who buys wine on a semi-regular basis has heard at some time has no doubt been “old vine.”

Although it is typically linked with Zinfandel (particularly Zins from California), the nomenclature is used in a variety of situations and is not necessarily appropriate.

It’s understandable that some people have come to equate wines with the designation “ancient vines” with superior quality, but is this actually true?

Whatever your familiarity with the word, or if you’ve been purchasing old vine wines for years, it’s a good idea to review some basic concepts before your next trip to the wine aisle.

Old Vines are defined as those that have been around for a long period of time.

When used as a general word, “ancient vine” refers to anything that sounds precisely like it does. The time it takes for vines to produce enough grapes for harvesting is about three years from the time they are planted.

If you’ve looked at the labels of any wineries lately, you’ve probably noticed that none of them boast new vines.

Because older, more established wineries tend to be held in higher regard than those who are new to the sector, advertising ancient vines or even the year on which the grapes were planted directly on a bottle may really go a long way in garnering consumer trust and confidence.

However, it may be difficult to tell if the grapes that produce a bottle of wine are actually “ancient” or whether there is just a lot of marketing going on.

When it comes to using the word “old” to characterize vines, there is no legal standard in place as of today.

It would be easy for a winery to claim that its vines are “ancient” since they have been in production for more than a decade, but this would be describing something entirely different from a winery that planted its vines 50 or 60 years ago.

For a winery to portray itself as old, classic, and established, as previously indicated, is a positive sign.

The language employed on a bottle, however, may serve more as a promotional strategy than as a realistic indicator of quality.

Only if the label includes the exact year that the grapes were planted can you be certain that you’re purchasing a bottle of “old vine” wine.

When it comes to old vine wines, what distinguishes them is their complexity.

A bottle of wine may be purchased since the vine’s age is an indication that a winery has been in operation for a long period of time; however, does vine age truly make a difference in terms of flavor and smell?

The answer to this question is “yes” in a large number of circumstances. Take a time to notice the variations in length between old and young vines in your vineyard.

New vines are often formed from roots that are around six feet in length. In contrast to younger vines, older vines may have roots that reach up to 25 feet in length, indicating that they are burrowing considerably deeper into the earth.

However, contrary to popular belief, deep roots might really be associated with several benefits. Think about the amount of moisture in the air.

In many parts of the world, wine enthusiasts are acquainted with vintages that were so wet that they completely ruined any hope of producing high-quality wine. This is particularly true of grapes that are younger in age and more susceptible to disease than older varietals.

Why? Because rainwater does not reach the deeper roots of old vine vineyards, the shallow roots of fresh vines tend to absorb water much more quickly and effectively than the roots of old vines.

During very dry years, when younger vines are less likely to get the moisture they need to survive, the same notion holds true in practice.

Be a result, older vines are capable of tapping into subterranean moisture sources, which is why they are sometimes referred to as “smarter” than younger vines.

In addition, the complexity of ancient vines, which is mostly due to the terroir of the vineyard, is generally regarded superior to young vines, even by wine professionals.

It will go through many different layers of soil after a vine has developed to the point where its roots may reach as far as 25 feet in length.

Shorter, younger vines are unable to catch up on the subtle nuances inherent in each new stratum broken by these vines because they are too short and too young.

Consequently, young vine wines are frequently monophonic in nature, whilst aged vine wines may be savored as stereophonic compositions.

The age of a vine, in the final analysis, may have a considerable influence on its ability to yield fruit. Overall, younger vines have a tendency to produce huge clusters of grapes, which isn’t always a negative thing, but it may have an effect on the strength of the fruit’s taste.

Grapes on older vines, on the other hand, tend to be smaller in size and have a more concentrated taste since they have a longer life span.

Keep in mind that the age of the vines and the phrase “old vine” have nothing to do with overripening the grapes as a way of boosting flavor concentrations, which results in a quite different sort of wine from the one described above.

Is Old Vine Wine a Better Drinking Option?

In light of the fact that so many wineries are heading in the direction of including “old vine” and similar phrases on their labels, it is reasonable to believe that wine made from ancient vines is demonstrably superior to wine produced from young vines.

This may be true in certain circumstances (especially with Zinfandel), but not all of the time. It’s crucial to remember, however, that “old vine” is not always a reliable indicator of superior quality in and of itself.

Many excellent wines are produced from vines that have just recently been planted, and the fruit-forward traits of young wine might actually be more appealing to certain individuals than the dark, deep character of ancient vineyards, depending on their preferences.

If you’ve never had “old vine” wine before, look for a bottle that has the year the vines were planted on the label, which is usually found on the back of the bottle.

This will assist to guarantee that your first encounter with old vine wine is not only a marketing ploy and that you are in fact tasting the genuine article.

If feasible, do a side-by-side comparison of two wines made from the same grape — one from an old vine and one from a fresh vine — if possible. There is a good chance that you will notice a significant difference between the two.

8 Do’s & Don’ts When Reading Wine Labels

Can English Sparkling Wines Take On Champagne?

How To Match Wine And Spaghetti

How To Figure Out Whether A Wine Is Sweet Or Dry

What Is A White Wine That Is “Aromatic”?

9 Tips For Wine And Vegan Food Pairings

The Best Wine Books To Read In 2022

What Is The Difference Between Beer, Wine, Liquor, Alcohol, Brandy, Whiskey, Rum, Vodka, Bourbon, Stout, Scotch, Feni, Champagne, Tequila, And Gin?

What Are The Top 10 Things Any Wine Drinker Should Know?