College of Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Sciences
Wine and Viticulture
BS in Wine and Viticulture
Grapevines (cv Zinfandel) planted in the same vineyard 100 years apart were analyzed for juice chemistry and phenolic content of the fruit. The vineyard was dry farmed, and vines from the original 1890 vineyard were compared to vines inter-planted in 1990. As “old vine” wines can command higher prices in the market due to a perceived difference in fruit characteristics. This study attempted to observe if there was a measurable difference in fruit characteristics, or if it is simply an effective marketing strategy. There has been little research conducted in the wine industry attempting to observe a difference of old vs young vines, and to the validity of marketing of “old vine” wines due to differences in fruit composition. Results from the study showed no significant difference in the analysis of fruit from vines planted in 1890 and vines planted in 1990 in regard to phenolic concentration, and juice chemistry. While it has proven to be an effective marketing strategy, these results do not validate the marketing of “old vine” wines based on being more concentrated or different in the variables measured in this study.