New World vs Old World – What’s the real difference?

Many ponder on the difference between New World wines and Old World wines. We are constantly bombarded with new styles of wines, new regions, new grape varieties. But what is the real difference between a Pinot Noir from the village of Nuit St.Georges in Burgundy and a Pinot Noir from Martinborough vineyards in New Zealand? Most people argue that it all relates to the French concept of terroir, that is, the location, soil, aspect and vintage conditions where the grapes grow. The wine quality laws of France and other European countries are drawn on this concept. The whole edifice of the appellation d’origine contrôlée system in France, is founded on delineating the best terroirs. A Burgundy Grand Cru is better than a Burgundy Premier Cru because its terroir is superior. (more…)