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World’s oldest vine – ask Decanter

How is old is the oldest productive vine...?

World’s oldest vine – ask Decanter

Andrew Harvey, Sydney, Australia, asks: I was told the world’s oldest productive vine is 400 years old. Is this true? If so, where is it?

John Stimpfig replies: According to Guinness World Records, the world’s oldest vine still producing fruit does indeed date back four centuries and can be found in Slovenia’s Stajerska region, on the frontage of a house in the Lent Quarter of Maribor on the Drava River.

Known as the Old Vine, it even has its own museum within the house (www.staratrta.si/en/) and an annual harvest festival.

The vine is a red variety called Zametovka and produces just 100 250ml bottles of wine each vintage. In 2004, Guinness World Records stated the vine was ‘at least 375 years old’ and ‘could have been planted more than 400 years ago’.

How old is too old for a vine? – ask Decanter 

The vine’s age has been confirmed by experts on vine genetics in Paris and most recently in 2017 by Professor Richard Erker, a dendrologist from the biotechnical faculty of the University of Ljubljana.

However, the Old Vine House museum believes it was actually planted in the middle of the 16th century, concluding that the Old Vine was already at least 100 years old in 1657.

John Stimpfig is content director for Decanter.

This question first appeared in the March issue from Decanter magazine, subscribe to Decanter here.

Got a question for Decanter’s experts? Email us: editor@decanter.com or on social media with #askDecanter.

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