New-World Wine Regions to Explore
May 21, 2024

Welcome to the world of wine exploration! Whether you're a newcomer to the wine scene or a seasoned enthusiast, understanding the difference between New World and Old World wines can enhance your appreciation for the world of winemaking.

If you have already become an expert by reading our Guide to Understanding Old World Wines, you will know that Old refers to regions with a long history of winemaking. These regions are typically in Europe, mainly due to the influential empires that spanned across the continent for centuries. However, the wave of globalization has spread and transformed winemaking, with several regions making their own take on favourited classics. New World wines are often characterized by their fruity and bold flavours, thanks to the warmer climates and modern winemaking techniques.

Understanding the differences between New World and Old World wines is more than just a journey through flavours. It's a dive into the influence of terroir, climate, and winemaking traditions on the final product in your glass. This knowledge will add depth to your wine appreciation and enhance your understanding of the intricate world of winemaking. Cheers to your wine exploration journey!

South America


South America is a paradise for wine lovers, offering a diverse array of wines that reflect the unique terroirs of its various regions. In Argentina, the key wine regions include Mendoza, Salta, and Patagonia. Mendoza, often called the heart of Argentine wine country, is renowned for its high-altitude vineyards and sunny climate, which create perfect conditions for growing rich, robust wines. Malbec, the star of Argentine wine, is celebrated for its deep colour, rich fruit flavours, and smooth tannins, making it a must-try for any red wine lover. On the other hand, Salta, home to some of the highest vineyards in the world, produces wines with intense flavours and vibrant acidity thanks to its unique combination of altitude and climate. The region's signature white grape, Torrontés, thrives in these high-altitude vineyards, producing aromatic wines with floral notes and a crisp finish.


Chile, another major player in South American wine production, features key wine regions such as Maipo Valley, Colchagua Valley, and Casablanca Valley. Maipo Valley, often referred to as the Bordeaux of South America, is famous for its exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux-style blends. With its warm climate and diverse soils, Colchagua Valley produces rich, full-bodied reds, particularly Carmenere and Syrah. Once mistaken for Merlot, Carmenere has found its true home in Chile, producing wines with deep colour, bold flavours, and a distinctive peppery finish. Casablanca Valley, with its cool, coastal climate, is ideal for producing crisp, aromatic whites like Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. The cool climate of Casablanca Valley produces vibrant Sauvignon Blancs with zesty acidity and fresh citrus flavours.

Chile is also a leader in sustainable and organic winemaking, with many wineries committed to environmentally friendly practices. Organic vineyards, biodynamic farming, and sustainable water management are common throughout the country, ensuring that Chilean wines are not only delicious but also produced with care for the environment. Whether you're drawn to Argentina's bold Malbecs or Chile's elegant Carmenere, South America's wine regions offer something to delight every palate.

North America

The United States

North America offers a rich tapestry of wine regions, each with its own distinct character and contribution to the world of wine. In the Unites States, California boasts several notable wine regions beyond Napa Valley. Thanks to its diverse microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County is known for its Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel. Due to its warm days and cool nights, Paso Robles excels in robust reds like Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Santa Barbara’s coastal climate is perfect for elegant Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. However, Oregon has also emerged to produce world-class Pinot Noir, which thrives in the valley’s cool, moist climate and focuses on sustainable practices.


Up north, Canada’s wine industry has grown rapidly, with the Niagara Peninsula and the Okanagan Valley leading the way. The Niagara Peninsula in Ontario is famous for its ice wine and produces excellent Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. On the west coast, The Okanagan Valley is not only known for its stunning landscapes but also boasts diverse wines. Stretching over 250 kilometres from the northern town of Vernon to the southern tip near Osoyoos, the valley offers a variety of climates that support a wide range of grape varieties. The valley's long, sunny days and cool nights create ideal conditions for intense fruit flavours and balanced acidity. Signature varieties include Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah, which thrive in the warmer southern regions, while Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Riesling excel in the cooler northern parts. The region is also gaining recognition for its sparkling wines and aromatic whites, such as Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris.

The Okanagan Valley is also highly committed to sustainable and organic farming practices. Many wineries embrace environmentally friendly techniques to enhance their wine quality and reduce their ecological footprint. Visitors can explore the valley through its numerous wine trails, each offering a unique glimpse into the local terroir and winemaking traditions.



Both New Zealand and Australia are a hub of dynamic and innovative winemaking. Australia is home to several iconic wine regions, each known for its distinctive wines. The Barossa Valley, one of Australia’s oldest and most celebrated wine regions, is famous for its powerful Shiraz, characterized by bold fruit flavours and robust tannins. The Hunter Valley, known for its historic vineyards, excels in Semillon and Shiraz. Hunter Valley Semillon, in particular, is renowned for its aging potential and develops complex, honeyed notes over time. Meanwhile, the cooler climate of the Margaret River region on the western coast is ideal for producing elegant Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. This region is also recognized for its Bordeaux-style blends and Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon blends, which exhibit vibrant acidity and fresh, citrus flavours.

New Zealand

New Zealand, though smaller in size, packs a punch with its world-class wines. Marlborough, the country’s most famous wine region, is synonymous with Sauvignon Blanc. The region’s cool climate and abundant sunshine produce Sauvignon Blancs with intense aromatics, zesty acidity, and distinctive tropical fruit and herbaceous flavours. Marlborough also produces excellent Pinot Noir and sparkling wines, benefiting from the region’s diverse terroir. Hawke’s Bay, on the North Island, is another key region known for its Bordeaux-style reds, Syrah, and Chardonnay. The region’s diverse soils and temperate climate create ideal conditions for producing complex, full-bodied wines with great aging potential.

Oceania’s wine regions, with their blend of innovation and tradition, offer a remarkable array of wines that reflect the unique characteristics of their terroirs. From Australia’s robust Shiraz to New Zealand’s vibrant Sauvignon Blanc, these regions provide a diverse and exciting wine journey for any enthusiast.


South Africa

Africa, especially South Africa, is becoming a prominent player in the global wine scene. South Africa’s key wine regions, Stellenbosch, Paarl, and Franschhoek, offer a blend of historical charm and modern winemaking excellence. Stellenbosch is renowned for its Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux-style blends, benefiting from diverse soils and a temperate climate. Paarl excels in robust reds, and it's known for its bold fruit flavours and smoky finish. Franschhoek is celebrated for its sparkling wines, Sauvignon Blanc, and gourmet cuisine, with a focus on high-quality, small-batch production. Africa’s wines have proven to be rising stars and are making a significant mark on the global wine map.



Asia's wine industry is rapidly evolving, with countries like China and India leading the charge. In particular, China's industry has seen exponential growth over the past few decades, with key wine regions like Ningxia and Shandong producing high-quality wines that are beginning to compete on the global stage. Ningxia, often referred to as the "Bordeaux of China," is the country's most renowned wine region. Located on the eastern edge of the Helan Mountains, Ningxia benefits from a dry climate, ample sunshine, and significant temperature variations between day and night. These conditions are ideal for growing grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are known for their deep colour, rich flavours, and well-structured tannins. Ningxia’s wines are gaining international acclaim, with many receiving prestigious awards and high ratings from wine critics. Shandong is another prominent wine region located on the eastern coast of China. The region's maritime climate and fertile soils are well-suited for producing a variety of grape types, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Gernischt (a unique Chinese varietal), and Chardonnay. Shandong is home to some of China’s largest and most established wineries, which are known for their innovation and quality.


India’s wine industry is still in its promising stages but has shown significant potential, particularly in regions like Nashik. Nashik, often dubbed the "Wine Capital of India," is the country’s leading wine region. Located in the state of Maharashtra, Nashik’s climate is characterized by warm days and cool nights, like the Okanagan. The region produces a variety of wines, with a focus on Shiraz, Chenin Blanc, and Sauvignon Blanc.

Asia’s growing wine landscape is an exciting development in the global wine industry. The region’s diverse climates, innovative winemaking practices, and commitment to quality are producing wines that are increasingly gaining international acclaim. Whether exploring the bold reds of Ningxia or the tropical flavors of Nashik, Asia offers a new and intriguing journey for wine enthusiasts.

At Angry Otter Liquor, we invite you to embark on your own wine adventure by exploring our aisles. There, you'll find a variety of wines from around the world waiting to be discovered. Whether you're drawn to the bold Malbecs of Argentina, the elegant Pinot Noirs of Oregon, or the innovative blends of China, there's something for every palate and occasion.

Don’t know where to begin? Our team members at your local Angry Otter Liquor are here to assist you on your journey, sharing their expertise and passion for wine to help you find the perfect bottle for any occasion. Don't hesitate to ask us about our favourite wines and regions—we love sharing our recommendations and helping you explore new favourites!

Cheers to new discoveries and unforgettable experiences!

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