Confused about wine labels? You're not alone!
The world of wine can be a bit confusing, but we can help to eliminate the mystery surrounding what is an Old World wine versus what is a New World wine.
What is a New World Wine?
New World wine regions are wine producing countries outside of Europe.
What are the Top New World Wine Countries?
Argentina, Australia, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa, United States, and Canada (not really — but we’re biased)
If you’re from the "New World" wine names seem pretty easy to understand. You’ll usually see on the label the words "Chardonnay" or "Pinot Noir." That is because by design New World Wines use a naming convention that specifically refers to the grape variety used in the wine. While the region or area where the grapes are grown is secondary. New world wines are generally recognized by the grape variety first, and the region or producer are often less important.
That said, there is a trend toward regional identity in the New World with the recognition of Geographical Indications (GIs) and American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) and the creation of more sub-regions. Furthermore, winemakers and producers are gaining reputation as the New World wine industry ages and these wineries become more established.
What is an Old World Wine?
Old World Wine regions are the original wine producing countries in Europe.
What are the Top Old World Wine Countries?
France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain,
Old World Wine producers focus more on the sub regions where the grapes are grown, and on traditional methods used to make wine. You may find multiple names for the Chardonnay grape produced in France depending on the producer, the region, and the style of the wine. "Old World" countries have strict rules and regulations to follow when growing grapes and making wine, and many wine labels carry clues as to what’s in the wine, where it was made, and its quality.
Click on the wines to see tasting notes on some of our top picks for New World Wine and Old World Wines.
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