Old Vines: do they really make a difference?
Old vines - aka viñas viejas or vieilles vignes in French - is an increasingly popular term you might see on a wine label. It’s a reference to the age of the vines used to make the wine. No-one in the wine world has formally agreed on what the minimum age should be for vines to be termed "old". But many people tend to use 35 years as something of a standard.
Nevertheless, marketeers have latched onto the term and increasingly use it to promote the idea that older vines make better wine. Is this true? As the Galicians would say, it depends!
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Winemaking involves so many variables, it’s difficult to highlight out one single factor. But here at Simply Spanish Wine, we are viñas viejas fans for the simple reason that winemakers who devote so much time and attention to preserving old vines - often when yields are smaller and economically perhaps the wines are less profitable – are helping preserve Spain’s winemaking heritage, and are probably going to be equally fastidious about all aspects of their winemaking.
If you want to find out more, check out the www.oldvines.org . They are doing an admirable job making the case for old vines and the wines they produce to be properly recognized.