The Old World can generally date their origins of wine production back to the Roman Empire and beyond. Spans of time like this simply cannot be replicated by any other means. Throughout this 2000+ year period growers were able to figure out which grapes grew best and which areas of land consistently produced the finest quality. When the Roman Empire collapsed many of the vineyards were abandoned and so by natural selection the grapes which managed to survive became the grapes that are still grown today.
Naturally the growers from these regions-France, Germany, Austria, Italy and Spain have some pride in this history. Many growers are descended from families that have been tilling the soil for generations. This type of history has its dangers in that it creates a kind of complacency-if it’s not broke than why fix it kind of thinking. In this regard the advent of New World wines has been a positive influence on the established order as they are compelled to compete with a broader market.