Which one of the following countries possesses a significant number of the world’s oldest vines?

A. Greece

B. Australia

C. Argentina

D. Italy


When, in the late 1800s, phylloxera destroyed most of the vineyards of Europe, plus many in the Americas, parts of Australia side-stepped the pest. In particular, the state of South Australia was one of the few places that never had (and still doesn’t have) phylloxera thanks to strict quarantine laws that were put in place in the 1890s. As a result, South Australia is now home to many of the oldest vineyards in the world—vineyards which possess the original genetic plant material of Europe’s grapevines. Just two examples from the Barossa Valley include the Old Garden Vineyard (owned by the Hewitson family) which includes the world’s oldest Mourvèdre, planted in 1853. And vines in Penfold’s Kalimna “Block 42,” planted in 1888, are thought to be the world’s oldest producing Cabernet Sauvignon vines.

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