The spread of wine-making and Vitis vinifera grapes from the Middle East into Europe defines what areas are part of the Old World (in terms of wine). Public Domain Map by Anonymous circa 1570
Old world wines are from countries or regions where winemaking (with Vitis vinifera grapes) first originated.
Old world wine countries include France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Austria, Hungary, and Germany. Based on the definition, countries like Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, and Moldova are also able to be considered old world wine regions!
New world wines are from countries or regions where winemaking (and Vitis vinifera grapes) were imported during (and after) the age of exploration.
New world wine countries include: the United States, Australia, South Africa, Chile, Argentina, and New Zealand are New World wine regions. Also, based on the definition, China, India, South Africa, and Japan are new world wine regions.
Yes, they often do. The differences in Old World and New World wines come from winemaking practices (tradition) and the effect of the land and climate on the grapes (the “terroir”).
Despite these common descriptors between New and Old World wines, there are plenty of exceptions to the rule. This is because winemakers have a fair amount of control when it comes to affecting how a wine will ultimately taste. Call it a winemaking preference if you want. Many Old World regions have rules and regulations that dictate winemaking practices, which decides a wine’s style.
For example, if you made Malbec with the same winemaking methodologies in Mendoza, Argentina, and then in Cahors, France, the wines would taste similar but not the same. In this case, The difference is in the conditions (the climate, the microfauna, etc.) of the two regions.