Wine Word of the Week: Old World



By Kori ~ March 22nd, 2011.

This week’s Wine Word of the Week is Old World.

Official definition from Jancis Robinson’s The Oxford Companion to Wine:
Old World is Europe and the rest of the Mediterranean basin such as the Near East and North Africa. The term is used solely in contrast to the New World, the Old World having little sense of homogeneity. In very general terms, Old World techniques in vineyard and cellar have relied more on tradition and less on science than in the New World but this is changing as more and more wine producers travel freely between Old and New Worlds, exchanging ideas and techniques. The notion of terroir is an important and well-established one in much of the Old World, especially France, Germany, and Italy. To typical Old World producers, geography is considerably more important than technology.

Layman’s terms from Kori:
Old World is a term used in the wine world to describe wines produced primarily in the traditional winegrowing regions of Europe. Old World wines can be made in many different styles; however, the winemaking practices employed in Old World wines tend to rely more on tradition and the concept of terroir than New World wines.


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