Wines of the old continent
The “Old World” of wine is Europe and broadly understood Mediterranean area, where wine production has a long tradition going back many centuries, and where the wine industry was established around 7000 years BC, most likely on the foothills of Caucasus in modern Georgia. At its core are three contemporary wine empires – Italy, France and Spain. In the making of most of the European wines, the key parts are the cultivation and production techniques, developed over centuries and adapted to a specific region, as well as the term terroir, which means a set of features describing the whole environment where the vineyard is grown, including climate, topography and soil type. Most labels of bottles from the old continent emphasize the wine region, such as Bordeaux or Rioja, instead of the name of the strain from which the wine was made. The wines are usually classic, elegant and sophisticated. European wines usually have an extensive system of appellation, i.e. a law-regulated wine classification structure depending on the quality and production method, which has a positive effect on classification and order in the wine market but, on the other hand, it limits the producers’ fantasy.