New World Plantings and Dates
The world of wine is divided into two groups: the new world and the old world. The old world refers to countries where wine has been made for thousands of years, starting in ancient times. This includes all of the European wine producing countries like France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal, and parts of Eastern Europe. The new world refers to countries where winemaking is relatively new compared to the old world, although in most cases this still means hundred of years old. The new world consists of the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Thus, all New World plantings and dates emerged during or from the age of Colonialism and exploration as European nations traveled outward.
New World vs Old World Wine
In general the wine world assigns certain stylistic traits to both the old and new world.
The old world is known for having a slightly cooler climate compared to the new world. Therefore, the grapes don’t ripen quite as much, producing wines that are lower in alcohol, higher in acid, and lighter bodied than the new world. They also tend to have less fruit aromas and flavors and more earthy, mineral notes.
The new world is generally considered to have a slightly warmer climate, meaning the grapes get slightly riper, which leads to wines with higher alcohol levels, lower acid, fuller bodies, and more fruit flavors and aromas. It’s important to note that these descriptions are very general, and there are many regions and wines that are exceptions.
Another big difference between the new and old world is the amount of tradition and innovation in each. The old world has a long history with wine and has developed many traditions around wine and winemaking. For instance many regions in the old world are only allowed to plant certain wine varietals or use certain winemaking techniques.
The new world’s wine history is much shorter and therefore lacking many of these kinds of traditions to follow. This allows the new world a little bit more freedom to innovate and experiment with their wine. Although similar to the stylistic traits, this is a generalization and there are exceptions in both the old and new world.
New World Growth
The old world dominated much of the world’s wine industry in the 20th century. But as the 21st century progresses, the new world’s wine industries have grown, matured, and have begun to create more competition for the old world.
In 2020 Italy, France, and Spain were the top three largest producers of wine. But the next five largest wine producing countries were all located in the new world. Starting with the top producer, they were the United States, Argentina, Australia, South Africa, and Chile. All together these five countries were responsible for producing 25% of the world’s total wine.
It’s an exciting time for the new world wine regions. Their wine industries have continued to grow as they continue to evolve and produce higher quality wines. Considering how long wine has been made in some of these regions, it’s amazing the progress that has been made in such a small amount of time. Below is a new world planting and dates timeline featuring major dates in the history of the new world wine regions, including when winemaking grapevines were first introduced into the country. Also check out this interactive map showing which old world countries were the first to introduce wine into each of new world countries.
See also: The History of New World Wine
Timeline of New World Plantings and Dates
Grape vines were planted in ColombiaAfter the first planting, Catholic priests in monasteries around the...
First vines were planted in PeruPeru became the first nation in Latin America to produce...
Grapes were first planted in MexicoSpanish settlers initially planted grapes in Mexico in the sixteenth...
First vines planted in ChileAccording to local lore, Francisco de Aguirre personally planted the...
The planting of European Vitis vinifera vines in ChileAround 1554 in the 16th century, Spanish conquistadors and missionaries...
First vines in ArgentinaWhen cuttings from the Chilean Central Valley were transported to...
Spanish Missionaries introduced vines planting in New MexicoIn 1629, when Spanish missionaries first arrived in what is...
First vines were planted in South AfricaWhen the Dutch East India Company first arrived in Cape...
Vineyard planting begun in CaliforniaThe Spanish Franciscan Missionaries planted the first vineyards in the...
First Vines in AustraliaThe First Fleet and Captain Arthur Phillip of the British...
More plantings in OregonNumerous immigrants to Southern Oregon in the 1880s experimented with...
First vines were planted in Ontario CanadaIn Ontario, grapevines were first planted in 1811, and winemaking...
First vines were planted in SonomaRussian farmers and fur trappers established the first grape vines...
First vines plantings in New ZealandIn September 25, 1819, Charles Gordon, Superintendent of Agriculture, planted...
Mass Grape growing begun in SonomaNot until shortly after 1823, when Spanish missionaries started building...
First Vines planted in WashingtonThe first vineyard was planted in Washington in 1825, marking...
Vineyards were replanted in AlgeriaIn order to meet the demands of the nearby pieds-noir,...
First plantings in Napa ValleyGeorge Calvert Yount planted the first vineyard in 1839. Later,...
First vines planting in OregonHorticulturist Henderson Luelling, who arrived in the territory via the...
The first commercial winery was established in Napa ValleyThe first commercial winery in the Napa Valley was established...
Karlsson, Per and Britt. n.d. “Wine Production in the World in 2020, a Detailed Look.” Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/karlsson/2021/12/30/wine-production-in-the-world-in-2020-a-detailed-look/.