OLD VINES are not NEW. Grow up “trend-making” New World!
Sunday, May 20, 2018 at 1:56PM
Linda Johnson-Bell

As I have sat back and watched this wine industry evolve over the past 25 years (I started my career very young!)… it never fails to amaze me how often New World “trends” are just things that quality Old World wine makers have ALWAYS done. It’s like watching teenagers ignore the advice of their experienced parents and go off to make all of the same mistakes. When they finally figure out that perhaps their parents were correct, they act as though they have “invented” the answer. I want to scream, “I TOLD YOU SO!”

The latest trend to piss me off is South Africa’s OLD VINE PROJECT and its accompanying certification programme. The vines have to be at least 35 years old. For xxxx sake, that’s nothing in Europe – it’s a baby. Do these people ever travel and educate themselves? I remember my first trip to Napa and watching 20 year-old vines being pulled because they were “too old” and were not producing enough fruit for the yield –hungry mentality.  I was horrified, as my classic education had taught me that the vines were only just getting interesting at 20. Like people, actually.

The most frustrating thing is that the Old World producers have quietly been going about their business and the consumer has no idea what really is entailed in quality wine production, so if some flash New World wine association comes along and does a PR-job on how smaller yields are better, or how organic, natural wines are set to take the world by storm, or how they are now planting on hillsides and not in valleys, or are favouring indigenous yeasts, or are dry farming, etc., the poor consumer, understandably, gives all the credit to the New World teen-age trend-setter. Ack! I just wish that  they would hurry and grow up.



Article originally appeared on The Wine Lady & The Wine and Climate Change Institute (http://thewinelady.com/).
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