I am one of those people who get visibly lost and excited when I am among the vines. I find it a deeply soothing and magical. On one trip to Epernay, I stood in awe at the beauty, rows upon rows of beautiful plants. To drink the bubbly artistry produced in famous Champagne houses was truly a highlight of my life.
The origins of wine predate written record keeping. Žametovka is a vine that has been validated to be at least 400 years of age, and is found in the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest vine in the world still producing fruit. “The old vine was planted in Maribor at the end of the Middle Ages during the Turkish invasions.”
There are many different species of vines that have evolved all around the world. Only a handful are important to grape growers. Vitis Vinifera is the main species and nearly all the grapes used in winemaking are from this vine. It has been used to make wines for thousands of years.
A vine goes through an annual growth cycle. Perfect conditions come together for a vine to produce quality fruit and taste. A vine takes everything it needs from its environment. To complete an annual cycle a vine needs five things:
- Carbon Dioxide
What are old vines?
After a vine has been planted, it takes about 3 years for it to bear fruit. It reaches adulthood around 7 -8 years . A mature grape vine is 12 -25 years old but an ‘old vine’ is usually 25+ years, preferably 50+ years old.
Now imagine you are drinking a wine made from old vines. Decades of conditions that kept it alive to continue to produce fruit. Once mother nature has done her job, the wine maker brings it alive with their artistry. It is cellared and aged before being presented to the lucky person who will take it home.
Trina Plamondon is the Founder of Carpa Vino, a local company, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, that offers private wine events with rare tastings, local food west coast food & entertainment. Learn more at www.carpavino.com