“These pre-phylloxera vines are like monuments, and we have to protect and respect them as we would the ancient monuments of our cities.” These are the words of Italian winemaker Michele Faro in the article, ‘The Prestige of Pre-Phylloxera Vines’ on wine-searcher.com.
“Producers around the world market their wines in specific ways to make them more desirable to consumers. This is especially true regarding vine age, given the belief that older vines produce wines of higher quality. Often wine labels display this information; in France, the term vielles vignes is used, in Italy vigne vecchie conveys this fact, while in California and other New World territories, terms such as ‘ancient vines’, ‘century vines’ or simply ‘old vines’ are the descriptors,” the article says.
“Yields are very small, which makes working with these vines expensive, but the resulting return in terms of richness and complexity in the finished wines make the results that much more valuable.
“Of all the ancient vines still being used today, those identified as pre-phylloxera – some of these vines date back to the 1890s – are perhaps the most treasured.”
In its Responsible Visitation Campaign, Vinehealth Australia suggests wine companies embrace the phylloxera-free status of our vines in South Australia. “We have some of the oldest vines in the world here in SA, due to the rigorous biosecurity systems that have kept pests like phylloxera out,” said Inca Pearce, CEO of Vinehealth Australia.
“We encourage all wineries to protect their most valuable assets – their vines – with good farm-gate hygiene systems. Part of that is not allowing visitors to walk into vines. Telling the story of our phylloxera-free and old vines helps to convey why it’s so important to protect our vines, while enjoying our wines.”