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Yalumba looks to embrace all that is old

In Australia there is no definition in wine law to prescribe what constitutes an ‘old vine’, leaving it open to individual interpretation, or to possible indiscriminate or misleading use.

Barossa Valley winery Yalumba has sought to address this by creating The Yalumba Old Vine Charter. It is dedicated to the recognition, preservation and promotion of old vines. Yalumba proprietor Robert Hill-Smith says it is important to establish that although vine age may often be used as an indicator of potential quality it is not a prerequisite, just as variety, region or winemaker does not, by themselves, create a superior wine.

Yalumba’s charter describes vines like this: • an old vine is defined as a vine equal or more than 35 years old • an antique vine (or very old vine) is defined as a vine equal or greater than 70 years old • a centenarian vine (or exceptionally old vine) is defined as a vine equal or greater than 100 years old • a tri-centenary vine (or very, bloody exceptionally old vine) is defined as a vine whose life has spanned three centuries.

For Yalumba this means that from the 2007 vintage any wine that uses ‘old vine’ nomenclature, either on a front label, back label, or in supporting documents or descriptions, will comply with the Yalumba Old Vine Charter.

“In an era of rapid change in technology, lifestyle and interest in the new and the now, we hope that through this overdue initiative, recognition of our Australian viti-vini history, survival, heritage and provenance may be proclaimed and celebrated,” Hill-Smith said.



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