On Monday 26th June thought-leaders and pioneers in the realm of old vines hosted a live webinar to launch The Old Vine Registry: the world’s most comprehensive database of living historic vineyard sites. The Old Vine Registry, which is free to view, is an evolution of what started as a simple spreadsheet and has been completely digitalised to become an unmatched resource for the global wine industry, the academic world, and wine lovers around the globe.
470 people registered to attend the one-hour live webinar which reached 35 countries around the world. Jancis Robinson MW, Sarah Abbott MW and California-based wine writer Alder Yarrow were joined by Founder & Chairperson of The Old Vine Project in South Africa Rosa Kruger, VP of Wine Education at Jackson Family Wines Gilian Handelman, and Senior Editor of JancisRobinson.com Tamlyn Currin. The panel used the webinar to unveil The Old Vine Registry website, explain how it is funded, how to use it and how the global wine community can help to keep it up to date.
‘It’s hard to find projects that feel this level of energy and are imbued with so much good will’ explained Gilian Handelman, VP of Wine Education at Jackson Family Wines, whose charitable donation funded the initial build of the Old Vine Registry.
Alder Yarrow, Founder & Editor at Vinography.com is the architect behind the design and build of The Old Vine Registry and has driven the project from concept to realisation. Introducing his guide on how to use the Registry he explained ‘We’re launching the minimum viable product (MVP), there’s plenty more that we know we would like to add and change but the purpose of an MVP is to get it into the hands of the people that will actually use it and hopefully will tell us what they would like to see added, changed and attributed to the site.’
The Old Vine Registry is a search-based tool designed for users to search for anything they might be looking for in the realm of old vines but, explains Yarrow, ‘the real magic and benefit of The Old Vine Registry is the ‘Find wines from this vineyard’ functionality which directs the user to wine-searcher.com and closes the commercial loop that old vines desperately need. It’s one thing to champion old vine vineyards and talk about their value but if no one is actually buying, tasting and enjoying the wines they will never be commercially viable and will eventually be ripped out.’
Jancis Robinson MW started writing about the world’s heritage of old vines more than 15 years ago and began documenting them in the form of a rudimentary spreadsheet with writer Tamlyn Currin. Over the years as the spreadsheet grew, so did knowledge of its existence so that wineries and growers would submit details of their old vines to be added to the list by Currin and wine blogger Benjamin Roelfs.
As of Monday 26th June the Old Vine Registry has 2,200 vineyards recorded from entries collected over 13 years. Portugal and Spain lead with 822 and 383 old vineyards registered respectively. The United States comes in third with 334 vineyards, followed by Australia and France with 208 and 142 respectively.
In her closing remarks at the launch of The Old Vine Registry Jancis Robinson MW gave a rallying call for action: ‘I urge everybody to participate in the Old Vine Registry: visit it, explore it, enjoy it! Let’s see this grow and let’s see everyone’s hard work, particularly that of Alder Yarrow, bear fruit to the benefit of all of us and to the world’s beautiful old vines.’
The full recording of the webinar can be viewed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsD7AXpxnh0
The link to The Old Vine Registry is: www.oldvineregistry.org
Alder Yarrow, Founder & Editor at Vinography.com is the architect behind the design and build of The Old Vine Registry and has driven the project from concept to realisation. The raw data at the heart of the Registry has been provided by JancisRobinson.com and the ongoing stewardship of The Old Vine Registry lies with The Old Vine Conference. The development of the Old Vine Registry has been funded by a donation from Jackson Family Wines.