New World Vs. Old World Wine

Two buzzwords commonly found in wine descriptions is ‘Old World’ or ‘New World’. What does that even mean? In a broad definition: Old & New World wine simply refers to where their respective winemaking techniques were originated. There are certain styles utilized to create our magic grape juice, but ultimately has more to do with region and what the French call terroir – not terror.

Terroir: dictated properties that are unique to a specific region. Down to minerals, elevation, climate and soil properties.

According to a National Geographic article I found the earliest evidence of vitis vinifera (grapes) cultivation comes from Tibilisi, Georgia nearly 8,000 years ago! Archaeologists found that our Stone Age ancestors grew grapes via hillsides and fermented in decorated clay pots. Old World wines refer to regions located in the birthplace of the craft – all of Europe and parts of the Middle East. Characteristically, wines from this region are lighter bodied, lower in alcohol and heavily regulated by their corresponding governments. Regulation is to keep winemaking techniques as pure and refined as possible. This means regulating sugar additives, rules on filtration and wine fining. Old World wines are generally elegant yet tannic due to their lower ABV and mineral content. Examples of strictly Old World wine include Bordeaux, Champagne, Chianti, Port, & Rhone.

New World winemakers tend to be regarded as mavericks and can be slightly unpredictable. New World regions include North & South America, South Africa, New Zealand, China, and India. Most wines made in these regions stray from traditional wine making processes and are not regulated. No rules, no problem. Some winemakers call it experimental art and will play with fermenting procedures as well as barreling systems to create new essence. As many New World vines are young winemakers benefit from fruity, bold flavors that blossom from baby grapes. Warmer climates also create higher natural sugar content therefore higher ABV and more complex flavors. Some new world varietals include Sauvignon Blanc, Melbec, Syrah, & Viognier.

Now for the weekly Dodici wine feature:

Today I present for you a New World wine from Oregon, Van Duzer estate Pinot Gris. Not only is the bottle stunningly art noir but, the wine itself packs an aromatic punch of jasmine and hints of the tropics. Van Duzer brings to the palate a bright citrus and hints of salty ocean air! ABV 12.9%.

Van Duzer located in the Willamette Valley, Oregon sits in a beautiful knoll backed by the Oregon Coastal Range but, still accessible to the Pacific winds. This micro climate creates their unique, crisp and refreshing taste. A summer evening at Dodici and Van Duzer Pinot Gris should include a Meat & Cheese board without a doubt. The citrusy flavors will compliment any creamy brie or balance any salty salami. Perhaps the Fun Guy or Fresca Due would compliment salty aromatics. Make your reservation tonight!!

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