Old World Wines - Part 1

The term "Old World wine" primarly refers to wine made in Europe and other regions of the Mediterranean basin (like North Africa and the Near East). Meanwhile, "New World wines" are produced outside these traditional wine-growing areas. These regions are Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States. Old World wines tend to be more subtle in flavor and more reserved in profile than the bolder, expressive counterparts found in the New World wines.

Old World Wines from Spain

Located on the Iberian Peninsula, Spain has over 2.9 million acres of wine planted. It is the most widely planted wine producing nation but is only the third largest producer of wine in the world.

Cava: is a type of white or pink sparkling wine and uses a selection of the grapes Macabeu, Parellada, Xarel·lo, Chardonnay, Pinot noir, and Subirat. Wine from Cava.

Jumilla: The authorized red grape varieties in the Jumilla region are Monastrell, Tempranillo, Garnacha Tintorera, Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Petit Verdot. Authorized white grapes are Airén, Macabeo, Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, Moscatel, Pedro Ximénez and Malvasía. Wine from Jumilla.

Ribera del Duero: is home to the world-famous Vega Sicilia and Tinto Pesquera wines and is dedicated almost entirely to the production of red wine from the Tempranillo grape. Wine produced in the region derive almost exclusively from red grapes. The Albillo grape is the only white variety grown. Wine from Ribera del Duero.

Rioja: Rioja wines are normally a blend of various grape varieties, and can be either red, white, or rosé. The most widely used varietal for red wine is Tempranillo. Other grapes used are Garnacha Tinta, Graciano, and Mazuelo. For whites, Viura is the most prominent grape and is usually blended with some Malvasía and Garnacha Blanca. Rosé wines are mostly derived from Garnacha grapes. Wine from Rioja.

Old World Wines from France

France has the world's second-largest total vineyard area and produces 7 to 8 billion bottles per year.

Bordeaux: Red Bordeaux is generally made from a blend of grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Carménère. Meanwhile, white Bordeaux is predominantly, and exclusively in the case of the sweet Sauternes, made from Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle. Wine from Bordeaux.

Burgundy: a region in eastern France where red and white wine are equally important. There are two main grape varieties used in Burgundy-- Chardonnay for white wines, and Pinot Noir for red. Wine from Burgundy.

Beaujolais: a part of Burgundy that is sometimes considered its own region, Beaujolais makes mostly red wine in a fruity style that is usually consumed young. Wine is generally made from the Gamay grape while whites are made mostly with Chardonnay grapes. Wine from Beaujolais.

Champagne: is the coldest of France's major wine regions and home to its major sparkling wine. The principal grapes grown in the region include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. Wine from Champagne.

Rhône: a primarily red wine region in south-eastern France with both northern and southern parts of the region competing with Bordeaux as traditional producers of red wine. The northern region produces red wines from the Syrah grape and white wines from Viognier grapes. The southern region produces an array of red, white and rosé wines. Wine from Rhone.

Old World Wines from Italy

Italy is home to some of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world and is the world's largest wine producer.

Piedmont: The best-known wines from the region include Barolo and Barbaresco, made from the Nebbiolo grape. Other popular grapes used in Piedmont are Barbera, Dolcetto, and Moscatto (for Asti). Wine from Piedmont.

Sicily: The region's best known local varietal is Nero d'Avola which is called "the most important red wine grape in Sicily." Wine from Sicily.

Tuscany: Tuscany's most prominent grape is the Sangiovese. Other red grape varieties are Canaiolo, Colorino, Malvasia Nera, and Mammolo. For white wine, Trebbiano is the most widely planted grape followed by Mavasia, Vermentino, and Vernaccia. Wine from Tuscany.

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