"Old World wine” has been cited in print since at least 1897 and has meant wine that is imported from Europe. Terms such as “American wine” or “California wine” were originally used for wine that is not “Old World wine.” The term “New World wine” was cited infrequently in the 1970s, since at least 1977. “New World wines are rubbing shoulders with the best of Old World wines,” was said in 1984 by Robert Mondavi, a leader of the California wine industry.
Wine Spectator‘s “Ask Dr. Vinny” explained in 2014:
“The rule of thumb held by Thomas Matthews, our executive editor, is that Old World wine regions grow mostly indigenous grapes, while New World regions rely mostly on imported grapes. This puts Greece, for example, into the Old World, but Israel into the New World, counterintuitive as that may seem.”
Wikipedia: Old World wine
Old World wine refers primarily to wine made in Europe but can also include other regions of the Mediterranean basin with long histories of winemaking such as North Africa and the Near East. The phrase is often used in contrast to “New World wine” which refers primarily to wines from New World wine regions such as the United States, Australia, South America and South Africa. The term “Old World wine” does not refer to a homogeneous style with “Old World wine regions” like Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Romania and Spain each making vastly different styles of wine even within their own borders. Rather, the term is used to describe general differences in viticulture and winemaking philosophies between the Old World regions where tradition and the role of terroir lead versus the New World where science and the role of the winemaker are more often emphasized. In recent times, the globalization of wine and advent of flying winemakers have lessened the distinction between the two terms with winemakers in one region being able to produce wines that can display the traits of the other region—i.e. an “Old World style” wine being produced in a New World wine region like California or Chile and vice versa.
Wine Spectator—Ask Dr. Vinny
June 11, 2014
Dear Dr. Vinny,
Who initially coined the phrase “New World wine”?
As I’ve written before, the terms started off as a way to not only describe the origin of a wine, but also to indicate a style based on climate expectations—namely, that New World wines were typically grown in warmer climates, with riper flavors. But these days, the terms are more muddied than ever, with a more diverse set of regions, winemakers, methods and changing climates that makes these words more and more confusing. The rule of thumb held by Thomas Matthews, our executive editor, is that Old World wine regions grow mostly indigenous grapes, while New World regions rely mostly on imported grapes. This puts Greece, for example, into the Old World, but Israel into the New World, counterintuitive as that may seem.
28 February 1897, Fitchburg (MA) Sentinel, “Cushing Process Company,” pg. 10, col. 6:
In character, delicacy of flavor and richness in medicinal virtue they are fully equal to any old world wine and have the added merit of unquestioned purity.
11 May 1900, Minneapolis (MN) Journal, pg. 8, col. 7:
OLD WORLD WINES
Figures Showing Amounts Produced in the Years 1898-’99.
17 December 1911, Springfield (MA) Sunday Republican, pg. 8, col. 2 ad:
Old World Wines of Rare Old Vintage
(Toomey & Cody Co.—ed.)
7 December 1913, The Times-Dispatch (Richmond, VA), Sporting Section, pg. 2, col. 2 ad:
Old World Wines
The best that come across the water—Sparkling Burgundies, Sparkling Moselles, Champagnes, Madeiras, Sherries, Tokays, Clarets, Ports, Rhines and Sauternes, Scotch and Irish Whiskies.
1 May 1955, Boston (MA) Herald, “Finger Lakes Region Famous for Growing Grapes for Wines” by Haydn Pearson, pg. 23, col. 1:
Old World wines generally have a delicate flavor and aroma.
5 December 1966, Redlands (CA) Daily Facts, ‘Western Book Shelf” by Robert Lurati (UPI), pg. 18, col. 7:
While his emphasis is on old world wines, the author does make this endorsement oi American products: ...
30 July 1972, The Sunday Oregonian (Portland, OR), “Umpqua Valley—The Bourdeaux and Rhineland of America?” by C. F. Gould, Northwest Magazine, pg. 6, col. 3:
In the 1880s the Von Pessl brothers experimented with Vitus vinifera (European grape). The Vitus vinifera species are those grapes from which all Old World wines have been made.
30-31 March 1983, The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, CA), “‘Fortified Wines’ an excellent guide book to ports, sherries” by Bob Hosman and John Knoblock (Knight-Ridder Newspapers), food sec., pg. 6, col. 1:
One of the best features of the book is the comparison of Old World wines with their New World imitations.
9 February 1984, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Bright future for American wine lovers” by Erika Sanchez, pg. 1E, col. 1:
The high quality of California wines was universally recognized by the experts at the meeting. “New World wines are rubbing shoulders with the best of Old World wines,” said Robert Mondavi, a leader of the California wine industry.
Firm Strategies in International Markets:
The Case of International Entry into the US Wine Industry
By Juan Bautista Solana-Rosillo
Ann Arbor, MI: UMI
Wines from European regions are called Old World wines, while wines from the Rest of the World are usually called New World wines.
OCLC WorldCat record
The relative abilities of the `Old’ and `New World’ wine producers to meet the future marketing challenge
Publisher: [Adelaide, S.A.: Ryan Publications,
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication: The Australian grapegrower & winemaker : journal of the Australian wine industry. no. 455, (2001): 80-85
OCLC WorldCat record
A wine odyssey : old world wines
Author: Amy Mumma; World Wine Program.
Publisher: [Ellensburg, Wash.] : Central Washington University, 2006.
Edition/Format: DVD video : English
OCLC WorldCat record
Old world wines revisited : consumers’ valuation of Spanish and German wines in the UK wine market
Author: Bodo E Steiner; University of Alberta. Department of Rural Economy.
Publisher: Edmonton : Dept. of Rural Economy, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Alberta, 2009.
Series: Staff paper (University of Alberta. Department of Rural Economy), 09-03.
Edition/Format: Book : English
The mid 190s was a pivotal period for the UK retail wine market, as New World Wines started to expand significantly at the expense of Old World Wines. This paper reviews supply and demand-side characteristics of the UK wine market during this period, and the underlying wine labeling scheme, before assessing how wines from Old World wine producing countries were valued by consumers in the British wine market. Following a more detailed discussion of econometric estimation issues, hedonic price analysis is applied in order to analyze consumers’ valuation of wine label attributes of Spanish and German wines sold in Britain in 1994.
Broken Earth Winery
Who initially coined the phrase “New World wine”? http://goo.gl/eDddaE via @WineSpectator #wine
8:01 PM - 12 Jun 2014