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New World vs Old World Wines - What's the difference?

You’ve probably heard Old World versus New World wines, what exactly is the difference? New World wines are from countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Chile, South Africa and the USA, less popular regions include India, Japan and China. These wineries usually adopt and implement the traditions of wine making from Old World Wines. Due to warmer climates, New World wines tend to produce a less acidic, more fruity and sweeter grapes which translates to wines with a higher alcohol content.

Old World wines are from countries where wine making first originated, France, Italy, Spain, Germany. This list also includes wines we don’t look out for often in Singapore such as Portugal, Greece, Hungary and even Moldova! These wines have set a wine culture spanning centuries, most with strict guidelines and standard of wine quality to follow. As Old World regions tend not to get as warm as New World regions, it is often described to be higher in acidity, less fruity and lower in alcohol content.

Old World wines also tend to have a lot more emphasis and focus on the microclimate of the vineyard rather than the grape varietal. That brings the focus to the soil, training technique, wind, precipitation, and so much more! These are the factors that differentiate the resulting flavour of these Old World Wines. This is also one reason why most Old World wines tend to have earthy notes and have more minerality. An Old World St Emilion presents more earthy notes compared to a California Merlot which tends to be more fruity with less tannins.

Of course there are exceptions to the taste of wines mentioned between both Old and New World wines. Both worlds have their own style, methodology and technique that goes into the making of each bottle of wine. You’ll be amazed to taste the difference in a same grape varietal but made in both Old and New World Wines!