New World Wines

Compared to the histo­ry of win­egro­wing in the Old World, the histo­ry of over­se­as wines is still quite young — but vines have also been cul­ti­va­ted here for around 500 years. Originally, the term “New World” is a his­to­ri­cal European term for the American con­ti­nent dis­co­ver­ed by Christopher Columbus in 1492. The so-called “New World” was thus con­cep­tual­ly con­tras­ted with the Old World, which until then had been Europe, Asia and Africa. Today, the con­cept of the New World is defi­ned more broad­ly — in addi­ti­on to North and South America, it also includes Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in the wine-growing sen­se. This is becau­se, start­ing in America at the begin­ning of the 16th cen­tu­ry, more and more new are­as were ope­ned up for the cul­ti­va­ti­on of gra­pes. The colo­nists were most­ly moti­va­ted by reli­gi­on, as they cul­ti­va­ted the fruit pri­ma­ri­ly to pro­du­ce wine for the mass.

When was viti­cul­tu­re estab­lished in the New World?
When the immi­grants arri­ved, nati­ve vines were alre­a­dy pre­sent, but their fruit was only used for con­sump­ti­on — wine­ma­king was still unknown in the New World at that time. As the colo­nists were unable to make a drinkable wine from the wild vines due to the unp­lea­sant aro­ma of straw­ber­ries (also known as fox­t­on), they began to import and plant European varie­ties. The first area in which the impor­ted vines were suc­cessful­ly cul­ti­va­ted was in cen­tral Mexico, whe­re the first vines had alre­a­dy been plan­ted in the first half of the 16th cen­tu­ry. Planting was sub­se­quent­ly con­tin­ued in other South American count­ries and in North America. In South Africa, the first vines were plan­ted in 1655, while Australia was deve­lo­ped for viti­cul­tu­re from 1788 and New Zealand from 1819.

European win­egro­wing pio­neers and local trail­bla­zers
Over many cen­tu­ries, num­e­rous pio­nee­ring achie­ve­ments have hel­ped to estab­lish European gra­pe varie­ties and modern viti­cul­tu­ral tech­ni­ques in the New World, lay­ing the foun­da­ti­ons for today’s flou­ris­hing viti­cul­tu­re: The French che­mist Jean-Antoine Chaptal, the Scottish immi­grant James Busby and Max Schubert (the crea­tor of the legen­da­ry Penfolds Grange), for exam­p­le, pro­vi­ded important impe­tus. In the last cen­tu­ry, more and more local win­egro­wers were respon­si­ble for inno­va­ti­on and thus play­ed an important role in the qua­li­ta­ti­ve deve­lo­p­ment of the wines and their inter­na­tio­nal per­cep­ti­on. Outstanding per­so­na­li­ties such as Robert Mondavi (who is con­side­red the prot­ago­nist of modern viti­cul­tu­re in California), Nicolas Catena (who beca­me famous as a pio­neer for the qua­li­ty deve­lo­p­ment of Andean wines as well as his visio­na­ry approa­ches in the viney­ards) or Eduardo Chadwick (who estab­lished Chilean wine on the world stage) took decisi­ve steps with their pas­sio­na­te com­mit­ment and ensu­red that the level and repu­ta­ti­on of wines from over­se­as increased signi­fi­cant­ly, signi­fi­cant­ly rai­sed the stan­dard and repu­ta­ti­on of wines from over­se­as, so that wines from the New World expe­ri­en­ced an unex­pec­ted explo­si­on in qua­li­ty from the ear­ly 1960s onwards.

The most important gra­pe varie­ties in the New World
As in all wine-growing count­ries around the glo­be, French gra­pe varie­ties are beco­ming incre­asing­ly important in the New World — sin­ce 2000 alo­ne, new plan­tings of the­se varie­ties have increased by a fur­ther ten per­cent. In addi­ti­on to the clas­sic Bordeaux varie­ties Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, the Burgundian varie­ties Chardonnay and Pinot Noir also play a major role, as do Syrah, the red clas­sic from the Rhone and Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire. In addi­ti­on, natio­nal spe­cial­ties are also cul­ti­va­ted on a small sca­le — for exam­p­le, Torrontés is the most wide­ly cul­ti­va­ted white gra­pe varie­ty in Argentina, while the red Pinotage in South Africa or Petite Sirah in the USA also enjoy a cer­tain sta­tus locally.

Differences bet­ween over­se­as and Europe
Keyword gra­pe varie­ties: Although today the­re are gre­at simi­la­ri­ties bet­ween the Old and New Worlds in terms of gra­pe varie­ties, the­re are still some very clear dif­fe­ren­ces in terms of win­egro­wing prac­ti­ces and wine­ma­king — even if the­re is a con­ti­nuous trans­fer of know­ledge bet­ween the con­ti­nents. While European win­egro­wers often pre­fer to stick to tried and tes­ted tra­di­ti­ons, win­egro­wers in the New World are gene­ral­ly more wil­ling to try out new things and modern tech­no­lo­gies: When it comes to pre­cise viney­ard manage­ment, inno­va­ti­ve paths were taken here ear­ly on in terms of pru­ning, irri­ga­ti­on and fer­ti­liza­ti­on — robot tech­no­lo­gy is now even being used in the vineyards.

Keyword wine­ma­king
When it comes to vini­fi­ca­ti­on, New World pro­du­cers are also often more wil­ling to expe­ri­ment than tho­se from Europe: for exam­p­le, many pro­du­cers often rely on so-called cold fer­men­ta­ti­on, in which the fer­men­ta­ti­on pro­cess takes place more slow­ly at lower tem­pe­ra­tures, allo­wing the inten­se fruit aro­mas in the wine to be expres­sed more stron­gly. Cellar tech­ni­ci­ans in the New World are simi­lar­ly open to the use of enzy­mes and sel­ec­ted yeasts to pre­cis­e­ly con­trol the fer­men­ta­ti­on pro­cess and crea­te spe­ci­fic aro­ma pro­files. In this con­text, howe­ver, it is also important to men­ti­on that the gene­ral­ly less rest­ric­ti­ve wine laws in the New World give pro­du­cers more lee­way when making wine. This includes, for exam­p­le, the fact that geo­gra­phi­cal ori­gin does not have exact­ly the same signi­fi­can­ce in the New World as in Europe and that wines from dif­fe­rent regi­ons can be com­bi­ned with each other.

Keyword tas­te
The main sty­li­stic dif­fe­ren­ces include the fact that many wines from the count­ries of the sou­thern hemi­sphe­re are more fruit-driven, the aro­mas of white wines are riper and the tannins of red wines are sof­ter becau­se the avera­ge tem­pe­ra­tures are war­mer than in Europe and the gra­pes the­r­e­fo­re deve­lop a hig­her degree of ripeness.The eco­lo­gi­cal balan­ce of the New World — sus­taina­bi­li­ty on the rise In recent years, the topic of eco­lo­gy in viti­cul­tu­re has ste­adi­ly gai­ned in importance world­wi­de, and many pro­du­cers in the wine-growing regi­ons of the New World are also incre­asing­ly com­mit­ted to envi­ron­men­tal­ly fri­end­ly prac­ti­ces — with a wide ran­ge of efforts, win­egro­wers are demons­t­ra­ting that they are awa­re of their eco­lo­gi­cal respon­si­bi­li­ty and are wil­ling to break new ground.

Keyword natu­ral resour­ces
as water scar­ci­ty is a pro­blem in some wine-growing regi­ons of the New World, sus­tainable prac­ti­ces usual­ly also include effi­ci­ent water manage­ment, such as the use of drip irri­ga­ti­on sys­tems. In addi­ti­on, many wine­ries are tur­ning to rene­wa­ble ener­gy sources to redu­ce their con­sump­ti­on or gene­ra­te their own requi­re­ments — solar ener­gy, wind ener­gy and other envi­ron­men­tal­ly fri­end­ly ener­gy sources are now being used much more frequently.

Keyword fer­ti­liza­ti­on and pest con­trol
Sustainability mea­su­res include the use of orga­nic com­post and the use of natu­ral pesti­ci­des. Thanks to the dry, warm wine-growing cli­ma­te and the mineral-rich soils, many are­as of the New World offer ide­al con­di­ti­ons for this.

Keyword trans­port rou­te
The trans­port rou­te also plays a decisi­ve role in the eco­lo­gi­cal balan­ce. Because many wines from the New World are expor­ted to distant mar­kets, sea trans­por­ta­ti­on is the pre­fer­red opti­on in many cases. And alt­hough it is gene­ral­ly true that the shorter the trans­port rou­te, the lower the emis­si­ons, it should be noted that con­tai­ner ships are often even more envi­ron­men­tal­ly fri­end­ly over­all than trans­por­ta­ti­on by truck from remo­te are­as across Europe thanks to their lar­ge car­go volu­me. And becau­se the type of pack­a­ging also has an impact on the eco-balance, more and more wine­ries in the New World are opting for ligh­ter bot­t­les and envi­ron­men­tal­ly fri­end­ly materials.


Australia is one of the world’s lea­ding wine count­ries — more wine is pro­du­ced Down Under than in Germany. Australian red wine in par­ti­cu­lar has gai­ned inter­na­tio­nal reco­gni­ti­on. Around 60 per­cent of the wine-growing area in Australia is plan­ted with red gra­pe varie­ties. They are main­ly loca­ted in viney­ards in the south of the country. … 


Wine from Chile is par­ti­cu­lar­ly cha­rac­te­ri­zed by an ele­gant and sil­ky cha­rac­ter, which is pre­cis­e­ly due to the pro­xi­mi­ty to the Pacific Ocean and the Andes. Due to the high alti­tu­des and the coo­ling sea wind, the gra­pes slow­ly ripen to excep­tio­nal qua­li­ty. With about 500 mil­li­on liters of wine annu­al­ly, Chile holds the fifth … 


The wine-growing regi­on of Argentina is the lar­gest in South America and the seventh lar­gest in the world behind Italy, France, Spain, USA, China and has deve­lo­ped into a glo­bal­ly reco­gni­zed and suc­cessful wine nati­on.Probably the best known wine regi­ons today are Mendoza and La Rioja in the grea­ter Cuyo regi­on, which pro­du­ce many Argentine … 

New Zealand

New Zealand: A see­mingly end­less, untouch­ed and deser­ted natu­re, no neigh­bors far and wide and more sheep than peo­p­le. New Zealand is not even as big as Italy, but pas­ses through three extre­me­ly dif­fe­rent cli­ma­te zones.Unique like the natu­re are the wines. These enchant with pure, clear and imme­dia­te­ly pre­sent fla­vors. 2200 hours of sunshine, … 


The coun­try has the lar­gest area under vine in the world. About 967,000 hec­ta­res of viney­ards are cul­ti­va­ted by about 150,000 wine­ma­kers in near­ly 5,000 bode­gas (wine­ries) and bot­t­ling plants. In 2014, Spain beca­me the world’s lar­gest export­er of wine for the first time. Spain has an anci­ent wine tra­di­ti­on and is con­side­red a mul­ti­face­ted wine … 

South Africa

The breath­ta­king land­scape around Cape Town is home to South Africa’s wine-growing regi­ons. The viney­ards of around 100,000 hec­ta­res are com­pa­ra­ble to the viney­ards of Germany. They are loca­ted in the Cape regi­on in many small val­leys, which are pro­tec­ted by moun­tain ran­ges. The pro­xi­mi­ty to the sea mode­ra­tes the inten­si­ty of the sun and … 


Compared to Europe, the histo­ry of viti­cul­tu­re in the USA is still very young. Nevertheless, with 450,000 hec­ta­res of viney­ards, the USA is among the top five in the world. However, one third of this area is used for the cul­ti­va­ti­on of rai­sins. Wine is pro­du­ced in almost all of the fif­ty sta­tes, but only …