ask dr. vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs.


Dear Dr. Vinny,

When a wine from south of the equator gives its vintage, say 2003, is that wine six months older or six months younger than a 2003 wine from north of the equator? I doubt that it will make a huge difference, but I have been curious.

—Ken C., Santa Barbara, Calif.

Dear Ken,

Wines from the Southern Hemisphere are harvested in what is the spring here in the United States—in March or so—about six months before harvest in the Northern Hemisphere. It sometimes freaks me out, because New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs, for example, are often released the same year as their harvest. Some of these 2006s were on the shelves before the 2006 harvest even started in California. Trippy!

—Dr. Vinny


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