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Ancient Tea&Old Vines, The Older The Better?


随着普洱茶的大热,业界开始有了古树,大树,小树等之分。物以稀为贵,“古树茶”也俨然成了一个价格标签。什么是古树茶,至今没有法定的规定。近代云南大量种植茶树,是在清道光之前(1820-1850)。清代末年,云南茶区战乱频繁,瘟疫连连,茶树的种植也一度荒废;直至民国初期(1910年代),方才开始在凤庆等地大面积种植;新中国成立后,计划经济与市场经济交替时代,云南地区最早一批大量种植茶树已然是二十世纪七、八十年代的事情。 因此,行业内普遍认为古树茶以树龄为100年为基准,具有比较科学的依据。2011年西双版纳颁布的《西双版纳傣族自治州古茶树保护条例实施办法》把古树茶的年龄划定为一百年,而“云南省古树普洱茶收藏研究会”同样认为“古茶园为1911年前人工栽培的自然状态生存下来的古茶园”。

Since pu-erh tea gained its popularity in early 21 century, some labels like ancient-tree tea, big - tree tea, came into the market, and among which ancient-tree tea obviously means much more expensive due to its rare production. However, there is no any official laws define what is ancient - tree exactly. Date back to the late tea planting history, one was before Daoguang era(1820-1850), and the other time was in the early 1910s. The latest planting time in large area was in 1970s or 1980s, therefore, most experts and organizations agree that only tea trees over 100 years old can be called ancient-tree.


那古树茶就一定是最好么?答案褒贬不一,大部分人给予肯定,而仍然有一部分人坚持己见,认为“不以树龄论英雄”。在进一步讨论古树茶是否成就好品质之前,我们先来看看前辈葡萄酒如何看待老藤old vines葡萄酒这回事的。

Here comes another question. Pu-erh tea can get better with age, do ancient trees? Most people said yes. Before we discuss it further, let’s see how does wine world think about the similar issue.

其实,葡萄酒届对老藤的定义同样模糊不清,从40年 - 60年不等。在新世界,老树树龄的界定相对偏小。著名葡萄酒大师杰西斯•罗宾逊(Jancis Robinson)撰写的《葡萄酒牛津辞典》(the Oxford Companion to Wine)一书中是这么描述的:老藤以出产能酿造优质葡萄酒的葡萄而著称(Old vines are reputed to produce grapes which make better quality wine) 。2000 年,加州古迹葡萄园协会(California Historic Vineyards Society)规定,只有树龄超过 50 年的葡萄树才能算是老藤。

Actually, such question is still confusing in wine field. Old vines can range from 40-60 years, and it may be even younger in the new world. Jancis Robinson, the famous wine master, wrote “Old vines are reputed to produce grapes which make better quality wine” in the Oxford Companion to Wine. In 2000, California Historic Vineyards Society defined that old vines must be over 50 years old. However, there is still part of people disagree with that.

虽然仍然有一小部分人,特别是没有老藤葡萄园的地区和酒农,认为老藤并不等于好的葡萄酒,也没有确凿的科学依据论证此观点,但是众多专家一致认同:

Although a small part of people denied that, and there’s no hard science behind the effects of age on vines, most experts agree on several points.

1. 老藤葡萄串少而分散,果实小且果皮厚,果汁更加凝练,因此,酿制的葡萄酒结构复杂、酒体饱满,层次感丰富。

The clusters become sparse, producing less fruit, and the skin-to-pulp ratio increases. This results in berries with more concentrated flavor,produce wines with more structure, intensity, and complexity;

2. 老藤葡萄园的根深蒂固,能够吸收更多的营养物,而年轻的葡萄园根浅,容易吸收表面的水分,易造成果味寡淡。在以风土著称的法国勃艮第地区,他们认为,老藤葡萄是对风土最好的诠释,因此价格也异常昂贵。

Growers believe old vines have much deeper roots that can reach more mineral deposits and pull more terroir from the earth. In comparison, young vines with shallow roots may suck up more surface water, bloating the grapes and diluting their flavor. In Burgundy, where terroir is believed to be expressed perfectly by old vine, bottles labeled with vieills vignes are much more expensive.

3. 老藤葡萄适应环境能力更强,形成了自身良性生态系统,更加有利于抵抗自然灾害和虫灾,因此品质增加稳定。

In a drought, the deep root systems may tap into much needed water far below the surface, and adapt to nature harmoniously with the ability to anti-pests as well, therefore, old vines are able to produce grapes in more stable quality.

4. 由于老藤葡萄如古稀老人,无论是葡萄园管理还是酿造加工,酒农更加精耕细作,几乎采用纯手工管理,固然后期的陈化储藏也少不了特色的照顾,因此口感固然更加上乘。

Old vines are very rare comparatively, so, the old vineyards are under careful management, farming by hands as usual. What’s more, those fruits from old vineyard are processed more delicately, and resulting in good quality.

由此可见,老藤葡萄酒口感好,源于好的原料、精细的工艺以及后期科学的储藏,三者缺一不可。同理,古树普洱茶优于一般的普洱茶,同样源于它得天独厚的生态环境和正统的工艺。

It’s no hard to see that old vine can produce better wine due to its good grapefruits, refined process and scientific aging environment. So does ancient - tree tea.

首先,茶树喜温暖湿润的地方,好散射光。云南属于立体山地气候,古树茶群落多分布在高山云雾缭绕之中,高大的林木和云雾为茶树提供了有利于其品质的自然漫射光。昼夜温差大,有益于茶叶有机物质的累积。

Firstly, most ancient tea mountains are in the subtropical mountain climate, surrounded by giant trees and cloud and fog, therefore, those tea trees can benefit from the diffused light and big temperature differences, which are good for the quality of tea.

其次,由于云南相对落后,远离现代工业文明,当地的原始生态环境得以保存下来。古茶树经过年复一年的自然考验,与其他高大林木、动植物和谐共生。经过种子天然培育的茶树根系发达,甚至扎根至乱石深处,有利于茶树吸收丰富的营养物质和微量元素,因此,良好的生态系统,不仅使古茶树自身具备了抵抗天敌和自然灾害的能力,无需任何农药和化肥,也使鲜叶的内含物质比较协调。

Secondly, Yunnan is an agricultural province, away from heavy industry, and local rainforest and ecological environment could remain. Those ancient tea plantations live harmoniously with other trees, plants and animals, together built strong and stable eco-system, can survive either in bad weather or pests. What’s more, the roots of ancient trees can grow deep enough, even break through rocks, and absorbs different nutrients, which provide tea with balanced tastes.

第三,古茶树为高大的乔木,未经过修剪,出芽率低,低产和低频率采摘使得鲜叶充分生长至成熟状态,因此内含物也更加的丰富,有层次感。

Thirdly, less yield of ancient trees guarantees that those leaves are able to grow mature enough for rich structures and complexity.

第四,古茶资源稀缺,多聘用经验丰富的制茶师傅,精心加工而成。并根据不同天气,不同季节,不同成熟度来看茶做茶,实时调整加工细节,从鲜叶采摘时间、摊凉、杀青、揉捻、干燥、储藏等加工过程步步做到位,因此,成品茶的品质自然也就万里挑一。

Last but not least, leaves from ancient trees are well processed by skilled masters as usual, who are experienced to adjust each step according to different weather, water content, mature degree, therefore make tea the good quality.

总而言之,绝大部分古树茶的品质自然好于一般的普洱茶,源于生长环境得天独厚,茶叶内含物质丰富,各种呈味物质比例协调,严格且正统的工艺,以及后期科学的陈化环境。目前仍然有一部分古老的野生茶树,其茶树品种并不适合饮用,不能同日而语。

In general, ancient - tree tea come in good quality because of pleasant climate, ecological environment, strict plucking and skill, and scientific storage.However, regarding the other old species, which are not edible and very old, it is another issue.

那么行业内令人眼花缭乱的古树,老树,大树,小树,生态,有机,台地,山头等名称又是怎么一回事儿呢?且听下回分解。

Then, how about old tree, big tree, small tree, ecological, organic, terrace, can you tell the differences? Stay with us, hope to see you next time.

#wine #ancientteatree #teacoach #teajourney #teatravel

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