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You may have heard someone stipulate while at a social gathering, wine tasting, or other occasion where wine is being enjoyed, that they prefer "Old World Wine" over "New World Wine" or vice versa. You may have assumed that this meant they prefer older more heavily aged wines over younger wines; however this is not the case.
New World Wines are from countries or regions where wine making was imported during and after the age of exploration. For example the United States, Australia, South Africa, Chile, Argentina and New Zealand are New World wine regions.
New World wines are often described as tasting ripe, having higher alcohol content, less acidity, and tasting more fruity.
The New World generally places less emphasis on making wine the same way it has been made for centuries, and more emphasis on experimentation.
Old world wines are from countries or regions where wine making first originated. For example France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Germany are Old World wine countries that have made wine for thousands of years.
Old World wines are described as mostly tasting lighter, having lower alcohol content, having higher acidity, and tasting less fruity.
Many Old World regions have rules and regulations that keep centuries of wine making tradition alive. There is a heritage behind the wine we are drinking. As wine drinkers, it is incredibly romantic to realize that the wine in our glass has been made the same way for centuries. Nativ, one of our featured "Old World Wines," gathers specific tastes from ancient traditions and environmental factors. This wine is produced in an area famous for fertile volcanic soils rich in minerals, calcium carbonate and ash, caused by the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which hit Pompeii in 79 AD.
Overall, the differences between the two categories boil down to geography, climate, and the traditions passed down for millennia. These make old world wines especially exceptional. Not only are you enjoying a fine glass of wine in the style of your choosing, you are imbibing in a piece of history.