Old World Versus New World Wines

One of the most endlessly discussed topics in the wine world is the stylistic difference between “Old World” and “New World” wine. What is the difference between the two?

600_433990090Primarily from Europe, old world wines have a rich heritage that is steeped in tradition. Its cultural roots go back to the Roman Empire where the first techniques to produce, store, and distribute wine were developed. The main trait all Old World wine countries have in common is that their wine making is heavily restricted, with guidelines all wineries must follow. Old World wines also tend to be lighter-bodied, exhibiting more herb, earth, mineral and floral components.

Old World wine regions include: Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Cyprus, Switzerland, England, and Macedonia

Because “Old World” typically means Europe, you can think of the “New World” as everywhere else. These wines are often made in a more highly extracted and oak-influenced style. The climates of New World wine regions are often warmer, which tends to result in riper, more alcoholic, full-bodied and fruit-centered wines. Wines and winemakers in the New World embody the entrepreneurial spirit. In these regions, the winemakers practices vary dramatically, and there is much experimentation.

New World wine regions include: United States, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, South Africa, China, India, Uruguay, Brazil, Mexico, Canada

These days, the terms “Old World” and “New World”  spark debates among wine lovers, usually about tradition vs. modernization. As with anything that gets placed into a category, many wine drinkers like to claim they prefer one category of wine to the other, but in our opinion, both Old and New World wines have great things to offer. So, go with your palate and drink what you like!


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