The new can on the block is our full-bodied Spanish old vine Garnacha. This truly special wine has a warming palate of dark cocoa, black cherries and bright strawberry notes. We love it, but does the fact it’s produced from old vines really make a difference?
Let’s start with a definition of what constitutes an ‘old vine’. This is a little tricky as there are different classifications around the world and the use of the term is unregulated. However, a vine can generally be classed as ‘old’ if it is over 25 years of age.
By this time a vine will have developed a deep root structure, sometimes up to 8m long, enabling it to cope better with extreme weather conditions as the plant has access to more stable nutrient sources. The roots of younger vines are much shallower, so they can get water-logged if it rains too much, or equally shrivel up when it’s too hot.
Although ‘old vines’ may be hardy and more disease-resistant, they still take a lot of maintenance and the crop yield will naturally drop. Therefore, the vineyard would likely be replaced once it dips below a viable level, unless there’s a good reason to keep them – such as quality fruit.
The deep root systems give ‘old vines’ access to rich mineral sources and other organic matter which help produce highly complex and characterful wines. Although yield may be lower, there is a higher concentration of premium quality and better character fruit leading to some truly exceptional wines.
So when we found our Old Vine Garnacha we had to can the whole vintage – it was too good to let it pass us by!
Our Old Vine Garnacha is made by The Flying Scotsman, Norrel Robertson MW, in the Spanish region Aragon. His vines are at least 45 years old, with some reaching up to 100 years. Vines this old are sometimes also called ‘survivor vines’ or ‘Centenarian vines’. The harvest is carried out with utmost care, with the Garnacha being entirely hand harvested. We believe these special circumstances of old vines and care result in a spectacularly unique wine in a can!