What does "old vines" mean on a wine label and does it have any impact on sales? Writing in Wines and Vines, Jim Gordon recapped the discussion at a Taste Washington seminar, "An Old Vine's Tale". Master of Wine and Bellagio Resort Wine Director Jason Smith admits, "No one ever asks for old vines when they order wine." Though when a sommelier mentions that a bottle is the product of old vines, it does hold some sway as part of a wine's total package.
Besides the marketing allure and photogenic nature of old, gnarled vines, advanced age does also confer some added benefits over the upstarts in the vineyard. Kent Waliser, General Manager of Sagemoor Vineyards, explained, “Young vines need twice the attention of our crews, like taking care of a 12-year-old instead of a mature person.”
So the next time you pick up a bottle of wine with "Old Vines" on the label, somewhere a vineyard worker is thanking you for taking it easy on them.