THE OLD VINE CONFERENCE SERIES: galvanizing a global movement to nurture and value great old vines, and their wines.

What’s the issue with old vines?

Old vines are a beacon for talent, innovation, and connection. The best old vines yield uniquely transcendent wines, incomparably rich in savour, symbolism, and heritage. The genetic material of ancient varieties, often retrieved from forgotten old vineyards, is proving vital in adapting to climate change.

Old vines have their valiant and inspirational champions in pockets around the world. But the global wine market does not structurally value old vines or treat old vine wine as a premium category of rich and enduring worth.

The claim of ‘old vine’ on wine labels is still dismissed by some wine communicators as unsubstantiated fluff. Our own qualitative research indicated that even highly engaged wine enthusiasts, and many wine professionals, are unaware of the value of and threat to old vines. There is good news. Brilliant campaigns and collective action in places such as Lodi, the Barossa Valley, South Africa, and Chile are raising awareness and reaching wine enthusiasts. Researchers and viticulturists are improving viticultural understanding of how to grow healthy, viable old vines. Yet the structure of the global wine industry stacks the odds against the regenerative commercial viability of old vines. As a result, healthy old vineyards of cultural resonance and unique qualitative potential are lost because they can’t be made to pay.

Why the Old Vine Conference Series?

The purpose of the Old Vine Conference is to bring together the wine industry, and wine lovers, to transform those odds. We need to build a global wine category for Old Vine wines. Our aims are to help share best practice, agreed definitions, and implement new strategies from vineyard to glass. We want to ensure healthy old vineyards a valued and enduring place within the commercial realities of the global wine industry.

Ongoing dialogue and action

The first conference series will run through 2021, in March, July, September, and November. Moderated discussions and interviews will explore different challenges and barriers preventing the regenerative profitability of high-quality old vines, and agreed actions to address them around the world. Conferences will be held online. Participants in the conferences include organizations, such as the South African Old Vine Project, and individuals, such as Lebanese winemaker Faouzi Issa whose dedication to Lebanon’s old vine Cinsault catapulted his domaine, and that variety, to attention. Moderators include skilled communicators and journalists such as Sarah Abbott MW, Tim Atkin MW, and Dr. Jamie Goode.

Our first session is on 23rd and 24th March 2021. Further sessions are planned for 29th and 30th June, and 21st and 22nd September 2021.

The Old Vine Conference No 1.

Dates:  Tuesday, March 23 – Wednesday,  March 24, 2021

Times:  4:00 – 7:00am PDT on March 23; 10:00am – 1:00pm PDT on March 24 (the website lists times in GMT)

Venue:  Online

Cost:  FREE, register HERE


March 23, moderated by Tim Atkin MW and Sarah Abbott MW
Elías López Montero, Winemaker at Bodegas Verum, La Mancha, Spain
Faouzi Issa, Winemaker at Domaine des Tourelles, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon
Salvo and Simone Foti, Viticulturists and winemaker at I Vigneri, Etna, Sicily
Rosa Kruger and André Morgenthal, Old Vine Project, South Africa

March 24, moderated by Dr. Jamie Goode and Sarah Abbott MW
Marco Simonit, Viticultural consultant, co-founder at Simonit and Sirch
Dan Miller, founder at Steward, investor in regenerative agriculture
Tiago Macena, Consultant and Winemaker, Portugal
Stuart Spencer, Executive Director Lodi Winegrape Commission

Registration required:  Click HERE to register.


Learn more about The Old Vine Conference Limited HERE.  Also, check out the Historic Vineyard Society and Lodi’s Save the Old campaign.



Featured image by Randy Caparoso, a fellow lover of old vines:

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