The South African old vines category has captured the attention of the global wine world.
Wines that are made from old vines (vines that are 35 years and older) are a tribute to the grower’s love of the land. They exist because of the people who touched and tended them over many years. They reflect the terroir, landscape, and people who lovingly tend these vineyards across the Cape.
Producers can certify old vine vineyards and wines with the Old Vine Project (OVP) and apply Certified Heritage Vineyard seals to their wine bottles, identifying the planting date of the vineyard from which the wine was made. The vineyards are verified from South African Wine Industry Information Systems’s (SAWIS) extraordinary vineyard database that dates to 1900.
The quality of wines that are made from old vines has been recognised globally, with multiple award winning wines coming from Certified Heritage Vineyards across all wine styles, regions, and varieties.
The OVP looks to develop a culture of caring for younger vines so that they can look forward to a healthy and productive old age, and wants to focus the minds of winegrowers, winemakers, and all wine drinkers on the benefits that come from wine made from old vines.
Mindful of the impact that climate change is having on the South African national vineyard, the OVP’s motto of ‘Plant to grow old’ highlights the need to keep these symbols of our viticultural heritage in the ground so that they can continue to contribute to the well-being and heritage of our wine industry.