7 Surprising Facts About “New World” Wine

At The International Wine Awards for 2014, South Africa scooped five trophies. Australia, U.S., Chile, and Argentina were awarded more trophies than any other New World vintners. “New World” doesn’t mean fresh players in the wine field: It simply creates categories according to countries that were colonized and those that were colonizers. For this reason, some regions within Old World countries are classified as New World. Wine lover, Amir Landsman, has his favorites he found checking out 3 not to miss New Jersey wine festivals.


New World Wine Has Its Own Taste

The differences in the characteristics of wine between these two “worlds” are stark. Old World winemaking is regulated, leaving vintners with little room for creativity. This may be behind the rising popularity of certain New World vintners, who have experimental freedom to try out new blends and winemaking methods. Old World wines tend to be a little challenging for new hobbyists, since they can be high in tannins and acidity. They are made according to tradition, which can be limiting on their character. New World wines take on the characteristics of their region and are often braver, featuring strong, bold and fruity notes.


China Is Booming

China is the world’s fifth largest wine producer, with an output that has risen fourfold in the last 10 years. Its citizens are equally enthusiastic about wine, with China becoming the largest consumer of red wine in 2013 at almost two billion bottles in a single year. They are not, however, necessarily supporting their local winemakers: France is drinking less wine, but Chinese buyers are spending a lot of their purchasing time in France. The Queen of England, on the other hand, is supporting China’s newfound passion for winemaking. She has cleared permanent shelf space for the Chinese producer, Chateau Changyu. Traditional cabernet sauvignon and merlot have been added, but an interesting new kind of winemaking has created its own space on the queen’s list. Ice wine, China’s lightest offering, is made in its own valley, with the queen’s choice being the Gold Label blend. It is produced using frozen, extremely fresh grapes. This gives it a light citrus and honey flavor.


Greece Is Letting Go of Ouzo

It is not uncommon to find Greek wines on connoisseurs’ lists of international favorites these days. Vintners are famous for their Moschofilero, Xinomavro, and Tselepos varieties. Nimea, too, is in the news for its easy drinking, soft tasting wines. Their white wine is known for its crisp, tangy lightness, ideal for pairing with Greek dishes. Traditionally, Greek white wine is sweet, but dry blends are quickly taking over.


Chile Is Reinventing Viticulture

Chile has its own brand of sophistication, different from all other countries in South America. Its soil, climate, Pacific winds, and glacial water all work together to create a solid foundation for its grapes. It has become the ninth largest wine producer and has retained its place as the fifth largest exporter in the world. Almaviva has won the most awards and is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Carmenere. Its vintners took on many of France’s traditional winemaking techniques while adding the notes that can only come from the Chilean environment. The country is in its infancy as a producer and is thus still researching the sub-regions and grapes that will add personality to its output. This is being supported by some wine producers in the Old World, so Chile should enjoy speedy progress.


The New World Is Changing Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is one of the oldest wines, having first been produced in Burgundy, France. It was called Morillon Noir by monks in the fourteenth century and is the ancestor of Pinot Blanc, Gris, Meunier and Grigio. It may even have given birth to Chardonnay. Many of the world’s most prominent New World vintners are adding their own signature to this ancient wine. Argentina, Chile, New Zealand and South Africa have the climate and space needed to grow the vine. Their fresh, creative approaches have made Pinot Noir one of the most diverse wines to experiment with. Because the grape presents such a large scope of flavors, it has a natural ability to change simply according to where it is grown. Germany’s are earthy with a raspberry and cherry zing, while California’s are intense, daring and tinged with subtle undertones of vanilla, clove and caramel. New Zealand’s regions lend it a spicy bite, and South America’s has a floral aroma.


South Africa’s Wine Route Is the Longest in the World

The Cape Wine Routes feature back-to-back towns spanning hundreds of wine estates including the renowned Stellenbosch and Franschhoek routes. Because they are popular attractions, estates have developed to present five star food and wine pairing, with the occasional classical music event in their cellars.

South African wines often win international awards in the Value category but it has more than its share of top achievers in other classifications. It is the exclusive wine on the menu in Disney World’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, but it is best enjoyed on its own home soil. The Cape is constantly finding its way onto the Times LIVE’s top destination list and it is the sprawling Wine Lands that contribute to this. South African wine takes the best out of Old World and New World styles. It represents a quarter of international fine wine production and 3 percent of general wine production, even managing to bloom by nearly 20 percent during the global recession. Chenin Blanc is its most beloved grape worldwide, although its Merlots add just a hint of fresh charm to a traditional Italian taste. Meerlust, Kanonkop, Rust en Vrede, Simonsig and Mulderbosch are currently the most nominated South African wines in the international press.


Casillero Del Diablo is the World’s Most Admired Wine

Chile’s Casillero Del Diablo took second place on The World’s Most Admired Wine list, just below world leader, Torres. These wines are renowned not only for their creative, characteristic blends but their history as well. Concha Toro, their first winemaker, kept his favorite vintages locked away, but thieves were fond of them too. The cellar was frequently broken into, so Toro spread word that the devil haunted it. The legend gave the wine its name, which translates as “Cellar of the Devil.”