GRAPE ANATOMY-Old Vines


  • SUB-TOPICS Of GRAPE ANATOMY- OLD VINES
    • Life Span of the Grape Vine
    • Old Vine Vineyards
    • Old Vine Associations

LIFE SPAN Of The GRAPE VINE

  • OLD-VINE DEFINED…..There is No Objective Legal Definition of Old Vine.
  • VITICULTURE– Some Vineyards Have Been Partially Replanted Individually, by Rows or by Blocks.
  • VINICULTURE– **Vines Are Considered by Most as “Old Age” After 35-40 Years, But I Use 50

0-5 Years…Young Vine

  • VITICULTURE– Vines Generally Produce 1-3 Tons/ Acre
    • Vine Usually Begin Producing Usable Grape After 3 Years. Vines Are Starting to Develop Root Systems. The Vines Don’t Have Full Canopies, and Grapes Are Subject to Vintage Variation.
    • First Year of Harvest Are Referred to as 1st. Leaf/2nd. Leaf/ 3rd. Leaf/ 4th. Leaf, etc.

6-10 Years…Adolescence

  • VITICULTURE– While Wine Are Produced From Grapes After 3 Years Its Not Until Year 7 That the Vine Really Produced Better Quality Grapes. Vine In This Age Range Young Kids With A lot a Energy That They Can’t Control or Know What to do With.

10-20 Years

  • VITICULTURE– Age of Vines When Soil Exploration is Stable. Vines Have a More Consistent Production and Less Crop Variation Year After Year. The Vine Vigor Becomes More Settled.
    • From This Age Range the Vine Really Come Into Its Own With Flavor and Aromatics.

20-50 Years…Middle Aged

  • VITICULTURE– Vines Generally Produce 4-8 Tons/ Acre
    • Most Vine Varieties Are Replanted After 35 Years
    • Af 40 Years the Old Vine Seems to Settle in a Gets Balance With Its Environment
    • In This Age Range the Vine Starts to Show a Calmness and Tends to Be Mellow and Less Sporadic From Year to Year.

50-80 Years…Old Vines

  • VITICULTURE– After 50 Years There’s a Measurable Decline In Yields Old Vines Are an Advantage, Not a Necessity.  Vines In This Age Range Seem to Have Less Issue With Weather Events Such as Storms or Droughts.

80+ Years…Ancient Vines

  • VITICULTURE– Produce Very Low Yields.

200+ Years…Regrafting Vines On Old Root Systems

  • VITICULTURE Some Roots Systems Are Hundreds of Years Old as In Santorini, Greece. Every 80 Years the Trunks Are Considered Old and Cut and Re-Grafted. This Gives the Vines the Benefit of a Developed Root System With a Young Fruit Bearing System.
  • REPIQUAGE- Replanting Young Vines Which Have Declined In Quality Amongst Existing Older Vines
  • TOP GRAFTING-  Grafting Vine to Existing Root Systems In Vineyards
    • 2-4 Years Before Grafted Vines Reproduce Quality Grapes Again.
    • Vines In Santorini Greece Have been Top Grafted Many Times Over and Have Roots With the Accumulation In Age of 300 Years.

Older the Vine, Better the Quality Wine”, This is True Only if the Vine is Healthy and Free of Any Vine Disease.


OLD VINE VINEYARDS

Refers to Age of Grape-Vines. As a Vine Ages it Establishes a Root System and a Framework of a Trunk at the Base With a Cordons. Over Years and Decades New Layers of Growth, Similar to Rings of a Tree, Result In a More Broad, Solid Twisted and Gnarled Old Vine With Tough Bark and Roots.

  • VITICULTUREADVANTAGES– Old Vines Are More Resilient to Drought and Extreme Weather
    • Longer the Vines Are In the Ground the More Developed/ Extensive Their Root System Become.
      This Creates a Greater Capacity to Abstract Moisture, Nutrients, Through Multiple Soil Profiles Deeper In the Ground, Generally Producing More Complex Fruit.
    • Old Vines Produce Less Fruit as They Get Into  “Old Age”.  With Less Fruit They Have More Energy In Relation to Each Grape, Generally Producing Better Friut.
    • As the Grape-Vine Get Older Their Trucks Get Bigger and Possess Greater Carbohydrate Reservoir, Generally Having More Power to Withstand Harsh Seasonal Weather, Draught and Tougher Times.
    • As the Vine Gets Older the Vine Tends to Produce Smaller Bunches and Grapes.
    • Old Vines Care For Their Fruit Differently and Shift Their Energy at Earlier Time From Producing Foliage to Looking After Their Bunches Earlier In the Season Giving Fruit Additional Nutrients. They Don’t Race to Maturity, They Ripen More Slowly Over a Longer Period Adding Flavor, Complexity, Density, Less Yields and a More Distinct Wine.
    • CHALLENGES–  ~More Prone to Disease Damage~
    • At Some Point Old-Vine Management Becomes to Costly to Compensate For Low Yields, and Return on Investment
    • Older Vines Wake Up From Dormancy Later
    • Phylloxera of 1880’s Wiped Out Many of the Vines.
    • Prohibition 1930’s Forced Many of the Producers to Pull Vines
    • One Can Estimate to Age of the Wines by the Age/ Style of the Trellising System Used or the Age of the Material of the Trellis.
    • Grape-Vines Are Sensitive In One Sense and Extremely Sturdy In Another Sense.
    • It’s Not All About the Age of the Vines But the Intention Behind the Creation of the Vineyard.  Finding the Right Best Sight and Soils and Matching It With the Correct Varieties and Clones.  In Time This Will Produce the Best Wine When the Vine Become of Old Age.
  • VINICULTUREADVANTAGES– Although Old Vines Produce Less Grapes and Bunches the Fruit is Intense, Rich, Flavorful and Balanced Fruit.
    • More Approachable at a Young Age
    • Enhanced Quality of Tannins
    • Enhanced Intensity of Aromatic
  • OLD-VINES GRPAES THAT PROSPER
    • White= Chennin Blanc
    • Red= Alicante, Carignan, Garnacha, Mourvèdre, Zinfandel
  • OLD VINE IN OTHER LANGUAGES
    • America– Old Vine
    • France– Vieiles Vignes
    • Spain– Vinas Velhas
    • Germany– Alte Reben

There’s Something About a Old Vine Vineyard, They’re Often Lurking In Mystery.  Who Tended to the Vineyard Over the Years, Who Drank its Wine.

ARRACHAE- The Action of Ripping Out Vines From a Vineyard.

  • Vine Puller- Steel and Wood Lever Used to pull Vines From the Earth Using the Ancient Method of Leverage.

Old Vine of Old World

  • 1600’s
    • Zametovka Vine     @Maribor, Slovenia
      • Said to Be Oldest Vine In the World
    • Rhodter Rosengarten Vineyard     @Pfaltz, Germany
  • 1700’s
    • Versoain Vine     @Alto Adige DOC. (Tisens)
    • Kirchenstuck Vineyard      @Rheingau, Germany
  • 1800’s
    • Monte Grazia Vineyard     @Coste d’Amalfi DOC., Campania
  • 1850’s
    • Domaine Henri Marionet      @Cour-ChevernyLoire Valley
      • White– Romorantin
  • 1880’s
    • Terre Nero Vineyard      @Etna DOC., Sicily
    • Chateauneuf du Pape     @Rhone Valley
  • 1950’s
    • Basarin     @Barbaresco, Piemonte
    • Valdejalon     @Aragon, Spain
    • Jean-Claude Lapalu     @Brouily/ Beaujolais. France
  • 1960’s
    • Szent Tamas/ Parcel 45     @Tokaj/ Hungary

Old Vines of California

  • 1870’s
    • Old Hill Ranch Vineyard     @Sonoma Valley AVA.
  • 1880’s
    • Bedrock Vineyard     @Sonoma Valley AVA.
    • Limerick Lane Vineyard     @Russian River Valley AVA.
    • Picchetti Vineyard     @Santa Cruz Mountains AVA
    • Carlisle Vineyard     @Russian River Valley AVA.
    • Bechthold Vineyard     @Lodi AVA.
    • Belloni Vineyard     @Russian River Valley AVA.
    • Cazas Vineyard     @Temecula Valley AVA.
    • Grandpere Vineyard     @Shenandoah Valley AVA.
    • Martinelli Vineyard     @Russian River Valley AVA.
    • Monte Rosa Vineyard     @Moon Mountain AVA.
      • +Alt. 1,400 ft.
    • Saucelito Canyon Vineyard     @San Luis Obispo AVA.
    • Evangelho Vineyard     @Contra Costa AVA.
  • 1890’s
    • Alegria Vineyard     @Russian River Valley AVA.
    • Barricia Vineyard     @Sonoma ValleyAVA.
    • Big River Vineyard     @Alexander Valley AVA.
    • Casa Santinamaria     @Sonoma Valley AVA.
    • Catfish Vineyard     @Kelsey Bench  AVA.
    • Field Stone Vineyard     @Alexander Valley AVA.
    • Ghirardelli Vineyard     @Calaveras County AVA.
    • Maggie’s Reserve Vineyared     @Sonoma Valley AVA.
    • Nervo Vineyard     @Alexander Valley AVA.
    • Perli Vineyard     @Mendocino AVA.
    • Royal-Tee Vineyard     @Lodi AVA.
    • Saitone Vineyard     @Russian River Valley AVA.
      • 17 ac., Alicante Bouchet, Carignan, Colombard, Grand Noir, Zinfandel
    • Salvador Vineyard      @Contra Costa AVA.
    • Wellington Vineyard      @Sonoma Valley AVA.
    • Jackass Hill Vineyard     @Russian River Valley AVA.
    • Shaw/ Kunde Vineyard     @Sonoma Valley AVA.
    • Heritage Vines Vineyard     @Russian River Valley AVA.
  • 1900’s
    • Chalone Vineyard     @Chalone AVA.
    • Chauvet Vineyard     @Sonoma Valley AVA.
    • Ciapusci Vineyard     @Mendocino AVA.
    • Cullinane Vineyard     @Sonoma Valley AVA.
    • Hayne Vineyard     @Napa Valley AVA.
    • Feliz Creek Vineyard    @ Mendocino AVA.
    • Hayne Vineyard     @Napa Valley AVA.
    • Justi Creek Vineyard      @Sonoma Valley AVA.
    • Lytton Vineyard     @Dry Creek Valley AVA.
    • Marian’s Vineyard     @Lodi AVA.
    • Mettler Vineyard      @Lodi AVA.
    • Pagani Vineyard     @Sonoma Valley AVA.
    • Pato Vineyard     @Contra Cosata AVA.
    • Puccioni Vineyard     @Dry Creek Valley AVA.
    • Puccini Vineyard     @Sonoma Valley AVA.
    • Valsecchi Vineyard     @Sonoma Valley AVA.
    • Deaver/ Rocky Top Vineyard     @Shenandoah Valley  AVA.
    • Alexander Valley Road Vineyard     @Alexander Valley AVA.
    • Woodside Vineyard     @Santa Cruz Mountains AVA
  • 1910’s
    • Massoni Vineyard     @Amador County AVA.
    • Lopez Vineyard     @Cucamonga Valley AVA.
    • Lubenko Vineyard     @Amador County AVA.
    • Maple Vineyard     @Dry Creek Valley AVA.
    • Teldeschi Vineyard     @Dry Creek Valley AVA.
  • +1920’s
    • Bacigalupi Vineyard      @Russian River Valley AVA.
    • Galleano Vineyard     @Cucamonga Valley AVA.

Old Vine of Australia

  • 1840’s
    • Turkey Flat Vineyard     @Barossa GI.
    • Freedom Vineyard 1843     @Barossa GI.
  • 1800’s
    • Cirillo Vineyard 1848         @Barossa GI.,      Garnacha
    • Hill of Grace Vineyard 1860(4 ha.)     @ Barossa GI.
    • Black 42 Vineyard 1880     @Barossa GI.
    • Kalimna Vineyard 1888     @Barossa GI.
    • Tricentenary Vineyard 1889      @Barossa GI.
    • Command Vineyard 1894      @Barossa GI.
  • 1900’s
    • Mt. Edelstone Vineyard 1912(16ha.)     @High Eden GI.

Old-Vines Vineyards of the New World/ Other

  • 1700’s
    • Coastal Region    @South Africa
    • The Oldest Grape Vine In South Africa is In the Square of the Cape Heritage Hotel.  The Crouchen Blanc Grape is Said to Be Planted In 1771.
  • 1600’s
    • Old Vine of Roanoke Island     @North Fork of Roanoke
      • Considered Oldest Vine In North America
  • 1950’s
    • Boutinot     @Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • 1960’s
    • Limavida 1969     @Maule Valley, Chile
  • 1970’s
    • Albeit Vineyard 1975    @Paardeberg, South Afica

OLD VINE ASSOCIATION

  • ASSOCIATIONS– ~Historic Vineyard Society~
    • Mission~ Dedicated to the Preservation of California’s Historic Vineyards, and the Educating the Wine-Drinking Public On the Very Special Nature of This Precious and Depleting State, National and Global Resource.
      • 226 Vineyards, 102 Official Registered
      • Criteria For Historical Vineyards
        • Currently Producing Fruit
        • Planted Prior to 1960
        • Vineyard Can Be Traced Back to Original Planting Date
    • FESTIVALS~ Parties, Tastings, Educational Tours of Historical Vineyard Society Tours
    • PIONEERS~ ~Joel Peterson~ Owner Bedrock Vineyard, On Board of Historical Vineyard Society
  • ASSOCIATIONS– ~The Old Vine Project~  South Africa
      • Mission~ Sets Standards and Mandate to Keep Old Vines In the Ground.  This Preserves the Vines by Creating a Heritage and Legacy of the Wines and the Vineyards.
    • ~Dashbosch Hanepoot~ (Muscat d’alexandria) Planted 1900   @Breedekloof
    • ~Alheit’s La Colline~ (Semillon) Planted 1936     @Franschhoek
    • ~Boekenhoutskloof~ (Semillon) Planted 1942     @Franschhoek
    • ~Sadie Ouwingerdreeks Met Kirsten~ (Chenin Blanc)  Planted 1952, @Stellenbosch
    • ~Bosman Optenhorst~ (Chenin Blanc) Planted 1952     @Wellington
    • ~Bellevue~ (Pinotage) Planted 1953     @BottearyStellenbosch
    • ~Kruger~ (Cinsault) Planted 1953     @Piekenierskloof, Citrusdal
    • ~Windmeul~ (Cinsault) Planted 1954     @Paarl
    • ~Meerendal~ (Pinotage) Planted 1955     @Durbanville
  • ASSOCIATIONS– ~Barossa Old Vine Charter~
    • Mission~ Instituted to Register and Quantified Vineyards by Age So That Older Vines Could Be Preserved, Retained and Promoted.
      • Barossa Old Vine- 35+ Years
      • Barossa Survivor Vines- 70+ Years
      • Barossa Centenarian Vines- 100+ Years
      • Barossa Ancestor Vines- 125+ Years
  • ASSOCIATIONS–  ~Vignadores de CarignanVIGNO.
    • Mission~ Preserves Old Vine Carignan In Chile.  Focus On Wines Where Our Branding of Winemaker Is Secondary to the Branding of the Old Vines
      • Viticulture – Dry Farmed, Vine +30 Years Old
      • Viniculture– Carignan(+65%), +AGED/ +2 Years

GOING THERE

  • If You Really Want to Learn About a Wine Start at Its Location. Some Wine Lovers Go Right For the Winery and Start Drinking. My Fascination Starts With Where the Grapes Where Grown. Most of These Historical Vineyard Society Vineyards Are Not Planted Right Outside the Winery But Have Addresses and Can Be Located, Visited and Walked Through (If Proper Respect is Given.) The Sight of Gnarly Old Vines In a Vineyards Gives Me Context and Glimpses Into the Backstory That I Love.”


**Refer to “BIBLIOGRAPHY/ SOURCES” For Details On Scholarly Works Referenced