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Ancient Australia: World’s oldest vines and 10 wines to try

The oldest surviving Shiraz, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Semillon vines, now up to 180 years old, are not in France, or anywhere else in Europe, or even the ancient world. They're in Australia. David Sly charts the country's old-vine heritage, meets the winemakers tending these living relics and recommends wines still being made from them today.

Marco Cirillo tends the world’s oldest surviving Grenache and Semillon vines. Planted in 1848 on their own rootstocks in the Light Pass parish of South Australia’s Barossa Valley and growing enough fruit to produce single-vineyard wines, these living relics hold far more than just historical value.

‘These vines aren’t good because they are old,’ says Cirillo. ‘They are old because they are so exceptionally good.’

Scroll down for tasting notes and scores of 10 wines showcasing Australia’s oldest vines

Ancient Australia: oldest vines and 10 wines to try

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