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-New World Wines

What does ‘New World Wine’ means?

New World wines are those wines produced outside the traditional wine-growing areas of Europe, in particular from Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States.

History of New World Wines

Each of these countries have separate wine-growing heritages that go back centuries, but there are some common themes. The New World imported wine from the early days of European colonisation, particularly for religious purposes.

wine lovers phuketWhere immigrants came from wine-growing areas, they brought their grapevines and wine making traditions with them. British colonists on the other hand tried to replicate the styles that they were used to importing, and sold them under the familiar, semi-generic, names.

So for instance both Australia and the USA made wines sold as ‘port’ or ‘Burgundy’ that were often made from Syrah or other Rhone varieties, whilst ‘Chablis’ and ‘hock’ might be made from Welschriesling or Chenin Blanc. Since much of the wine imported into the colonies was fortified to preserve it during the sea voyage, the local markets expected their domestic wine to be similar in style, and with a few notable exceptions, many early wines in the New World were fortified.

Perhaps the first significant example of the trade going the other way was Constantia wine from South Africa made from (Muscat de Frontignan) grapes from South Africa, which by the 18th century had become a firm favourite among European royalty. The first wine was exported from Australia in 1822.

Characteristics of New World wines

wine salesSince New World vineyards are generally in hotter climates than those of Northern Europe – in fact some major New World regions are irrigated desert – New World grapes tend to be riper. Thus New World wines tend to be correspondingly more alcoholic and full-bodied.

Critics have influenced New World producers and consumers towards a fruitier style, with more use of new oak.

However in recent years there has been a reaction against some of the very oaky, alcoholic styles that typified late 1980s Australian Chardonnays for example, as cooler vineyards have been identified and winemakers have become more sophisticated and more restrained.
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