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How Old Are Old Vines?


Wine 25

How Old Are Old Vines?

Ed Dibble | Oct 16, 2006 11:37 PM

Just had a nice bottle of Ballentine "Old Vines" Napa chenin blanc. Reading the back label, I learned that the vines were over a quarter of a century old. That's only over 25 years, which doesn't seem very old to me. I would think that there should be some chenin blanc vinyards with 50 or 60 year old vines as chenin blanc was one of the first white varietals I ran into, and it seemed like it was a common wine back in the 50s and 60s.

Does that mean that most California vinyards have been planted (or replanted) in the last 25 years?

Has anyone else run across wines from "old vines" that didn't seem very old to them?

BTW, I am not complaining about the wine, which was deeply and intensely flavored. If the back label had said the vines were 60 years old, I would have believed it.


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