What Is an Old World Wine?

Winemaker of Old World Wine vineyard

If your new to wine, you may have heard the term Old World wine thrown around, but what exactly does it mean I hear you ask? Old World wine refers to wines produced in traditional wine-producing regions in Europe. These regions have a long history of winemaking and are known for their adherence to mostly traditional practices and regulations. The term "Old World" includes countries such as France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Portugal, and others.

Old World wines often reflect the characteristics of the specific region where they are produced, such as the climate, soil, and grape varieties used. Each Old World wine region has its own unique winemaking traditions and regulations, which contribute to the distinctiveness and quality of the wines.

Some famous Old World wine regions and their signature styles include:

  1. France: Known for regions such as Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Rhône Valley, and many more, producing wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Champagne.
  2. Italy: Renowned for regions such as Tuscany, Piedmont, Veneto, and Sicily, producing wines like Chianti, Barolo, Amarone, Prosecco, and Sangiovese.
  3. Spain: Known for regions such as Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Priorat, and Sherry-producing regions, producing wines like Tempranillo, Garnacha, Albariño, and Sherry.
  4. Germany: Famous for its Riesling wines, produced in regions like Mosel, Rheingau, and Pfalz.
  5. Portugal: Known for Port wines from the Douro Valley, as well as table wines from regions like Alentejo and Dao.

These are just a few examples, and each Old World wine region has its own unique characteristics, grape varieties, and styles of winemaking.