Lesson 9 Objectives: (1) Understand the difference in philosophy between the Old and "New" wine regions; (2) Learn the key wine regions
in France, Italy, and Spain; and (3) Know the regional specialty and the great buys (or reliable buy) producers.
Major wine regions
Wine regions can be categorized into Old Worlds and New Worlds. Old world wine regions date back to the Roman Empire era and include France, Italy, Germany, and Spain. These European regions had years to witness the impact of terroir (local soil) on wine production and refine their vinification methodology. They emphasize terroir and traditions in vinification.
The New World wine regions include Australia, America, Latin America, South Africa, and New Zealand. Without years of terroir knowledge, these regions rely on technology to obtain good yield and quality wines. For example, many Austalian and Californian vineyards rely heavily on oak aging and natural compounds to enhance structure and flavor.
Differences between New World and Old World wines:
Style: Old world wines, emphasizing traditions and terroirs, are earthier, more minerally, and more tannic. Relying more on technology than traditions, new world wines are fruiter, less tannic, and creamier.
Naming and wine label: Most New world regions label their wines by grape variety. Most old World wine regions label their wines by appellations (regions); for example Pauillac, Margaux, and St Julien are all French appellations that produce Cabernet Sauvignon.
Click the image below to learn more about a specific wine country, its key wine producing regions and appellation standards.