Where Are The Oldest Wineries Located?


10Feb2013_2_Indian-Creek-Valentines_Robin_Restroom-CarvingInteresting question, I think. Here is some information Robin found from Wine Folly,

6 Oldest wineries in the World

Château de Goulaine, circa 1000
Château de Goulaine was owned by the Goulaine family except for a stint from 1788 to 1858 when it changed hands to a Dutch banker during the French Revolution. One of the last castles in the Loire to still make wine, Goulaine produces some Loire Valley white wines including Muscadet and Folle Blanche. It’s been said that the previous chef of Château de Goulaine, Mrs. Clémence Lefeuvre, invented Beurre Blanc sauce.Today you can stay the night at Château de Goulaine or rent it for a wedding.

Barone Ricasoli, Established 1141
This castle was owned by a family in Tuscany when Florence and Siena were still city-states. The Ricasoli survived Italy’s internal struggles in the mid-1200’s, the Black Death in the mid 1300’s, the rise of the Medicis until the 1700’s and World War II. Today you can find their most prestigious wine, “Castello di Brolio”, for about $70.

Schloss Johanisberg, circa 1100
There are records of an order for 6000 liters of wine during Charlemagne’s rule in the late 700’s. Schloss Johannisberg was destroyed once by marauding peasants in the German Peasant’s War in 1525. It is home to the oldest Riesling vineyards in the world and also lays claim to making the first late-harvest wines in 1775. Before then grapes with noble rot were not considered suitable for winemaking.

Schloss Vollrads, Established 1211
The oldest documented sale of wine from Schloss Vollrads was in 1211 when a thirsty monastery in Mainz put in a written order. The Rheingau-based winery produces a wide range of Riesling wines. You can visit their restaurant to celebrate their 800 year wine dynasty and try their Rieslings with classic German fare like bratwurst.

Codorniu, Established 1551
The first sparkling wine house in Spain didn’t start with bubbly. It had vineyards and a winemaking facility since the mid 1500’s, however in the 1820’s Codorniu started making Cava referring to it as Champagne. Today Codorniu is one of the top three Cava producers in the world with an annual production of close to 5 million cases.

Casa Madero, Parras de la Fuente, Established 1597
As far as New World wine production goes, would it surprise you to know that the oldest winery in America is in Mexico? Casa Madero is in Parras de la Fuente, a tiny fertile valley in Coahuila, Mexico which is the Northeastern Mexican state next to the Texas border. Casa Madero’s flagship wine is equal parts Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo.
Note: Besides the aforementioned few there’s also Chateau Mont-Redon which was designated a vineyard in 1344 next to Chateauneuf du Pape. The United States didn’t get started with wineries until 1810 with Brotherhood Winery in New York.”

Also from Wine Folly, look at these 4 Unbelievable Wine Regions,

England, Kent Vineyards, England Wineries, Sussex England. Not Napa.
Wine was forced onto England by the Roman Empire. By the Norman Invasion in the 11th century, vineyards were commonplace. In the early 1500’s there were 139 active vineyards, 11 of which were owned by King Henry the 8th. The echos of this era can be seen around London in areas such as Vine Street and The Vineyards.
Wine From England: It’s cold, wet and gray in England and many crops fail to ripen. Cool climate varieties like Madeline Angevine, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are popular, although some wineries keep trying Cabernet Franc. With all the classic Champagne varieties growing in UK fields, Brits have developed their own version of bubbly. The Bolney Estate in Sussex has received several awards for their classically inspired sparkling wine.

Pico Island, Azores, Portugal, Pico Island is a Unesco Historic Area.
An untouched piece of viticulture history lies in the Azores Islands off the coast of Portugal. The volcanic island of Pico is home to a massive man-made rock labyrinth created during the 1400’s. The intricate network of thousands of 5-foot rock walls protect tiny plots of Verdehlo vines. The wine made from grapes grown in the labyrinths is called Pico Verdehlo and was treasured by Czars and nobles in Europe for centuries. The area is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site, supposedly the last one in existence.
An Ancient Wine Treasured by Czars: The volcanic island has extremely poor soil and is mostly covered with basalt rocks. The stone walls offer protection from ocean winds and salt spray. The plots are tiny and hold only a few vines with thin openings for vineyard workers to go through. The people of Pico have removed international disease-resistant varieties in favor of Verdelho, Arinto, Terrantez, Boal and Fernão Pires; the common grapes from 500 years ago. These wines are hard to find, but you might have some luck looking for the following regions: Pico, Biscoitos and Graciosa.

Gobi Desert, China:
The Gobi Desert is the last place on earth anyone would expect a wine region. With only 6-8 inches of rain a year, vineyards must get water from the nearby Yellow River. Despite the lack of water, the greatest challenge in the Gobi Desert is surviving the winter. Farmers must bury vines underground to protect them from deep freeze. Because of the desolate conditions, the vineyards don’t suffer from disease or rot, making it easy for wineries like Chateau Hansen to produce organic Chinese wines.
Wine in China Predates Western Civilization: China’s wine history dates back to long before all of Western Europe. The oldest fermented beverage in the world was found in the Yellow River basin around 6000-7000 BCE and contained rice, honey and hawthorne fruit and/or grapes. The China wine industry is growing rapidly and already has 11 distinct wine growing regions containing hundreds of indigenous Chinese grape varieties.

Nashik, India: Strict Hindus avoid meat, mushrooms, garlic, tea and alcohol. The rest of India does drink wine and the current market is 2 times bigger than in 2009. India cuisine is famous for pairing perfectly with off-dry white wines such as Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris.The goal is high quality reds.
Where in India are They Making Wine?: The epicenter of Indian wine production is around the city of Nashik, which is 100 miles northeast of Mumbai. The climate in Nashik is similar to parts of California, Australia and Spain. Table grapes are already commonly grown here and there are now a growing number of wineries. Check out Sula Winery and Vallee de Vin for more.”

Thanks Robin for sharing this information. Cheers! And if you are interested in “the words for wine”, here is a great resource. Vinography Aroma or look here Aroma Cards.

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2 comments

    1. Thank-You Paul for the link to the article, “What Would Jesus Drink?” I have seen that article before and it is a good one. Joel Butler, Master of Wine, did a book on the ancient wine trails and had a chapter in his book about what wine would Jesus drink. Thanks for you comment.

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