New World wines is the term that is used to refer to wines made anywhere other than in the countries of Europe. The classic, traditional wine making regions of Europe, including Austria, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, are known around the globe for their many centuries of wine making; but now, New World wines are also gaining in popularity amongst connoisseurs in spite of their comparative lack of history.
Specifically, New World wines are those that come from the countries of Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, and also the United States, all of whom began exporting their wines in the 1980s. Winemakers from these New World countries in Latin America, America, Australia and South Africa have developed their own techniques that are tailored to their respective lands and climates along with implementing those used dating back to the Old World’s days of the Roman Empire.
New World wines are typically created from grapes growing in vineyards with hotter climates than those in most regions of Europe and as a result, often tend to be more full bodied with a higher alcohol content. However, some New World winemakers also turn to sophisticated means of aging their wine using new oak to bring about a fruitier style. Intricate irrigation systems, adding natural compounds, and of course, oak aging, are all a part of New World winemakers’ repertoire.
Argentina, the world’s fifth largest producer of wine, has a rather long history of winemaking amongst its natives, although the industry has experienced a great resurgence in the last decade or so, mirroring the success of neighbouring Chile.
Another region of New World wine makers that is growing in popularity is Australia, whose wines were once criticised for being overripe. But now, the country is widely recognised as utilising some of the most sophisticated winemaking techniques in all of the world and famous for their Tasmanian Pinot Noir and others like Cabernet Sauvignon from several valleys throughout the country. Neighbouring New Zealand is known for its trademark Sauvignon Blanc as well as Pinot Noir and Chardonnays made from Burgundy grapes.
Although wine is produced in many areas of the United States, 90% of it is created in the state of California which is widely known for its Napa Valley wineries. Now, California is synonymous with New World Cabernet Sauvignons, Chardonnays, and Zinfandel wines while other states in the U.S. are known for wines like Pinot Noirs (Oregon, Washington), and hybrids or Vitis labrusca varieties (New York).
The debate as to which are better when it comes to New versus Old World wines is an ongoing one that first began when the exportation of wines became commonplace from countries other than those in Europe. And now, thanks to the proliferation of the Internet, enthusiasts have the opportunity to quickly sample wines from anywhere in the world, fueling the debate further as to which regions offer the absolute best in fine wines.
Because winemakers in the New World have caught up to their Old World counterparts mostly in part to advanced technology, but also because descendants of experienced winemakers have moved from their homelands and taken centuries old secrets with them, the quality and standards of both may definitely be on parallel with one another.
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