FROM THE NEW WORLD
What is the New World?
In the world of wine, the term “New World” is used to describe the Countries that have only more recently begun to produce their own wine (Canada, Australia, USA, etc.). Contrarily, wines that come from countries with a long and rich history of winemaking are referred to as “Old World” (Italy, France, Spain, etc.).
What are the differences between the two worlds?
Mainly, tradition. In the Old World, lots of traditions have been handed down through generations, giving life and history to the wines that have become quintessential to their territories. In the New World, on the other hand, traditions can either be a bit more recent, or even nonexistent.
How are these traditions preserved?
In order for them to be properly preserved and handed down over time, certain disciplines have been created; i.e. protocols to follow for winemaking. For example, there are marked regulations with which it’s possible to produce certain wine and use certain grapes. You can know that you’re drinking a wine produced within these disciplines when you see ‘DOC’ or ‘DOCG’ on the label.
In the New World, which lacks this type of rigid tradition, the winemakers are free to experiment with different styles of wines.
In wine bars, you can pretty regularly find wines from Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, and South Africa. The export of rosé from these countries is in a state of growth right now, which is a really good sign. Rosé wines that are exported from these nations arrive in European and American markets in autumn, when the cold/off season is just beginning.
Exported Australian rosé is less than 2%, so the internal consumption is quite high. The main grapes used to make rosé here are Syrah (called Shiraz in Australia), Grenache, and Mourvèdre. There are also some Italian grapes that are pretty popular, and finding their footing in the growing trend that is spontaneous fermentation. This winemaking technique follows in the footsteps of the Old World, with certain revisions to adapt to the warm and dry climate on the continent.
Chile is one of the biggest producers of wine in the world, but their internal consumption is definitely on the lower side. Therefore, they’re one of the biggest exporters of wine in the world, with a good percentage shipped into the US.
Chile is a long and narrow nation, bordering the Pacific Ocean and the Andes. Positioned right in the long valleys are huge vineyards. 70% of the grapes grown in this South American nation are red grapes. The region that’s most well-known for wine production is Casablanca, which is close to Santiago. There, they cultivate Pinot Noir, as well as Carménère, a wine with a huge character. These grapes are also the main ones used for rosé. This variety, combined with the diverse climate, makes it possible to produce lots of different styles of wine. This makes Chilean wine very adaptable to global markets.
Another region to mention is Maule Valley, the oldest Chilean viticulture zone. It’s thought that the first grapevines were cultivated here around 1500. Being a southern region, close to the South Pole, the climate is cooler respective to Casablanca- this makes the wines more lively.
This region has always produced quite a lot of bulk wine: the main variety is the Pais, a very robust plant. Luckily, the concept of high quality wine production is becoming popular here as well.
In South Africa the sun and wind are essential elements in the terroir– they impede the formation of any mold: While helping the grapes to mature healthily in this way, these elements also frame the beautiful landscapes. South African wines have lots of delicate tannins and a good acidity, characteristics that allow them higher longevity.
The most exported South African wines are from the Western Cape, even though the most famous ones are from the North Cape.
We can find plenty of wines on the coast as well. In addition to grape varieties like Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon, we find the Pinotage, the principle vine in South Africa. It’s obtained with a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault. If not made correctly, the wines from the Pinotage can be very tannic. In the rosé version, the mineral characteristic shines through.
Have you ever tried rosé from any of these regions?
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