As a rule, at least 25 year olds apply vines as "old". Age is often used by producers for promotional purposes to indicate special quality. This is indicated by terms such as "Old Vines" or "Vieilles vignes" in French label noted. Many French appellation regulations state that no vines under three years of age may be used. Many important wineries in France only use vines with self-imposed (not wine law) minimum ages for the first wines. However, there is no generally applicable minimum age and the term is therefore used differently and has no meaning in wine law. Sometimes, among them ungrafted (Unfinished) vines understood.
After creating new vine stocks, the Virgin Reading or the pressing of the young wine only after three to five years at the earliest. The age of a vine affects the quality of the wine, often you hear the catchphrase "the older the better". Usually the vigor and begin earnings at around 20 years of age, and continues to decline from around 50 years of age. In general, vines in Central Europe hardly live for more than 25 to 30 years, then they are mostly replaced due to lower yields. However, a certain reversal of the trend is slowly being observed. More and more wineries are cultivating vines with a respectable age of 50, 60, 70 and in some cases even more than 100 years.
Wines made from it tend to (but not in principle) very often have a better quality. One of the reasons is the lesser one earnings, but that shouldn't be overestimated. Because there are also some other factors, such as those due to lower growth of leaves and fruit better, more intense exposition (Sun exposure) matter. The root system, which is largely branched out in old vines, also has a positive effect, although root activity declines with age. Quality is the complex interplay of grape variety, location and yield. But there is also the phenomenon that some vineyards produce the best wine qualities, especially in the first two to three years of yield. The reason for this is, among other things, an optimal relationship between leaves and fruit. But that is clearly the exception.
As a result, a list of vines and vines up to 500 years old in Europe and overseas. However, this does not claim to be complete:
Penfolds Winery in Australia
The Australian Weinut Penfolds pressed in the smallest quantities from those planted in the Kalimna vineyard in 1885 Cabernet Sauvignon vines a red wine. A special project was “Ampoule” with the 2004 vintage, filled in an exclusive glass container with a volume of 0.75 liters in a wooden cassette, one of which was sold for an incredible € 160,000. He is one of the absolute most expensive wines in the world,
Hampton Court Palace in London
A 250 year old grapevine is located in a glass house of the "Hampton Court Palace" in southwest London, which was planted in 1769 by the gardener Lancelot "Capability" Brown (1716-1783). It is a Black Hamburg ( Schiava Grossa ). The trunk circumference is four meters, the longest shoot is 75 meters. It still bears fruit every year. There is a video about this plant on YouTube (click to view).
Old vines in France, South Tyrol and Germany
In the area Touraine ( Loire ) there is a small one plot with from 1850 Romorantin vines, Some parcels of are also old Bollinger with Pinot Noir vines in front of the phylloxera, In the municipality of Prissian ( South-Tirol ) there is a 350 year old vine of the variety Versoaln, from which wine is still made. The winery Schneiders maintains in the location Rosenberg (Pomerania, Moselle) ungrafted Riesling vines from 1860.
From the Community Producteurs Plaimont in the Gers department in Southwest France parcels with old vines are monitored under the name "Conservatoire ampélographique". In the community Sarragachies there is a vineyard with vines over 200 years old or ancient grape varieties.
Guinness record in Maribor Slovenia
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the oldest vine in the world, known as "Stara Trta" (old vine) at 450 years old, exists in Maribor ( Slovenia ). This is the variety žametovka (Blue Cologne). It grows on a house wall in the Lent district on the left bank of the Drau. In honor of this vine, events are held throughout the year under the title “From the Vine to the Wine” (slow “Od trte do vina”). The highlight of the celebrations is the annual grape harvest. A relatively sweet red wine is obtained from the approximately 50 kg of grapes each year. This is filled into quarter-liter bottles (around 100 a year) designed by the Slovenian artist Oskar Kogoj. These are given away on the occasion of state visits to heads of state or to prominent visitors such as Bill Clinton or Pope John Paul II. A branch of this vine thrives in the courtyard of Ptuj.
vines over 500 years old
But there are probably even older vines. Because in 2000 was in St. Georgen (Burgenland, Austria) found a vine that has been unknown for centuries and was named after the place of discovery or the municipality. He later turned out to be the second parent of the Green Veltliners, And in November 2008 the monastery Disibodenberg of the winery Racknitz (Odernheim, Nahe) five overgrown vines of the Orleans discovered that are believed to be at least 500 years old.
Further information on this topic can be found under the following keywords:
Grape varieties: MIPAAF - National Vine Certification Service