Ask Sid: What Does Old Vines on a Wine Label Mean?

July 17th, 2019
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Question: What does Old Vines on a wine label mean?

Answer: Good point. It is confusing. Many vineyards are a combination of older vines and younger ones due to replanting and expansion. Therefore you often hear about what is the average age of the vineyard. Different regions use different criteria for “Old Vines”, “Vieilles Vignes”, “Vinas Viejas” and other language names. Priorat in Spain is doing the most current job in trying to regulate this area with a new more stringent 75 year rule. Your scribe did a tasting of 100 year old vines which brought forth lots of Zinfandel from California and Shiraz from Barossa Australia. But some places go as low as 35 (Chile), 40 (Greece), and 50 (California). Personally would prefer it to be not less than 50. Would like to see more uniformity on this as it presently is very difficult for the wine consumer to know what age is needed to qualify.

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July 17th, 2019

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