What Makes Old Vine Wines So Special

What Makes Old Vine Wines So Special

What Makes Old Vine Wines So Special.

What Makes Old Vine Wines So Special.

Why are wines made from ancient vines considered to be so exceptional? Let’s investigate some of the hypotheses that have been put out as to why aging vines are such an uncommon occurrence.

You may have come across the phrase “ancient vines” written on the label of wine. Or maybe you were at the neighborhood wine bar when you overheard a raving lover of old vine Zinfandel proclaiming his undying devotion to the vintage.

You just cannot let a delectable selection escape your taste buds; thus, let’s investigate the reasons why these mature grapevines are the actual thing.

But first, do they have it?

How Many Years Have Passed Since the Vineyard Was Planted?

The following is a synopsis of the stages that comprise a grapevine’s lifecycle:

It takes around three years from the time of planting before a grapevine begins to bear fruit.
Around the seventh or eighth year, a vine may be said to have reached “adulthood.”
The age of a grapevine that is considered to be “mature” may range anywhere from 12 to 25 years.

In general, “ancient vines” are those that are older than 25 years, and in an ideal world, they would be older than 50 years!
head – goblet trimmed ancient vines – Petite Syrah from Library Vineyard, from the Napa Valley

A significant number of historic vineyards make use of head-pruned or “goblet trained” vines. Photo by d4v
It is noteworthy to note that throughout the course of a grapevine’s lifetime, there are a few modifications that occur, which result in aged vines having distinct qualities:

They bring out fruit that is concentrated.

The output of older vines often declines as the vines become older. Many people feel that doing so raises the concentration of the fruit, which in turn results in wine that has a higher concentration.

Their origins go back quite a way.

Although this is encouraging to hear, it also indicates that the nutrients and water supplies that vines need come from quite a distance below the surface. Because of this, elder vines are less susceptible to vintage fluctuation and have a tendency to be more tolerant of drought and flood conditions.

There won’t be any issues with ripeness.

Tannins provide the most significant challenge when it comes to ripening fruit, particularly red wines. Tannins that have not fully ripened have a bitter and astringent flavor. According to the producers, older vines have a greater tendency to attain physiological maturity in a more consistent manner.

They are responsible for their own well-being.

Vineyards that are more than a few decades old often do not need as much futzing from their caretakers (as long as the vines are healthy). Nevertheless, one must use extreme caution so as not to injure the vine!

If you can even call it a concern, diminished productivity is the issue that comes with older vines. A decrease in output results in a loss of revenue for the grape producer.

In addition, older vineyards are not in style; rather, they are often planted with uncommon grape types such as Petite Sirah, Trousseau, Zinfandel, and Carignan. Because of this, a grape producer is prohibited from asking a premium price for their produce.

The grapevine known as Stara Tata is recognized as the world’s oldest living grapevine, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

The wines have a brilliant crimson color, a puckering acidity, flavors of raspberry and red currant, and a low alcohol content. Wines are star dazzling. Surprisingly, it is possible to purchase wines that were produced with grapes harvested from this particular vine!

The Soucie Vineyard was established in 1916 on the very sandy loam soil of the Mokelumne River American Viticultural Area (AVA) near Lodi.
The Soucie Vineyard was established in 1916 on the very sandy loam soil of the Mokelumne River American Viticultural Area (AVA) near Lodi.

Locations That Have Many Old Vineyards

To our good fortune, there are a number of areas that are recognized for their old vine wines. These locations are often off the beaten road and located in regions where producers have not removed vines in order to replace them with types that are considered to be more “en vogue.” Here are a few locations that are definitely worth looking into!

Lodi, California

Grapes are grown on around 100,000 acres (40,500 hectares) in Lodi, making it almost twice as vast as Napa Valley. In the latter half of the 19th century, this area was a major hub for the grape industry.

A significant amount of Zinfandel may be found here, in addition to other uncommon varietals like as Tannat, Trousseau, and Touriga Nacional.

Southern France’s Languedoc region

Because of the excessive production of wine in the region, particularly with the Carignan grape, Languedoc earned the nickname “The Wine Lake” in the 1970s. The situation became so desperate that wines produced in the region were sent to be directly distilled for use as fuel.

The nation implemented a large-scale grubbing up program and paid farmers to pluck up their vines, which led to many farmers actually doing so. Thankfully, the ones who didn’t still manage to create some of the very greatest Carignan wines ever tasted by humankind.

Barossa Valley, Australia

Because South Australia is geographically separated from other parts of the world, the Shiraz and Grenache grapes grown there have not been affected by phylloxera. This region is rife with wineries that date back centuries! In point of fact, it is the only region in the entire world to have an official Old Vine Charter, which distinguishes between “Old Vine” (vines older than 35 years), “Survivor Vine” (vines older than 70 years), “Centurion Vine” (vines older than 100 years), and “Ancestor Vine” (vines older than 125 years).

Santorini, Greece

There are many varieties of wine, not only red wines, that improve with age in the vineyard. Rare Assyrtiko grapes are grown on the Greek island of Santorini, where the vines are pruned to grow in an unusual wreath form close to the earth.

The finest grapes are often utilized to make a unique oak-aged variety of the wine known as “Nykteri,” which is not all that unlike from high-quality white Burgundy in style.

Wine from Greece Santorini Vines Assyrtiko

A wreath is made up of assyrtiko vines that are intertwined with one another.
The last phrase: out with the old.
It is simple to be swept up in the most recent trends, whether they pertain to technological advancements or health-conscious initiatives.

However, bear in mind that it is helpful to make an effort in conserving what is worth retaining, even if doing so comes at a cost. This is because preserving what is worth keeping is valuable. After all, time is one of those things that is irretrievably lost once it has passed.


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