Truly the Oldest
That the Old Vine in Maribor, Slovenia, truly is the oldest vine in the world is confirmed by imaging as well as professionally measured evidence.
What can we see from the pictures?
In Lent, the Old Vine's advanced age is proven by depictions of it in pictures of Maribor dating back to 1657 and 1687; these pictures are kept at the Styrian Provincial Museum in Graz. Both pictures show the Old Vine on the facade of the house at 8 Vojašniška street (Vojašniška ulica) in Lent. Per archival data from the Regional Archives Maribor, the house was built in the 16th century and from that time until today, at least on the south side, it has not experienced any significant architectural changes.
How did the professionals establish the age?
In addition to the artistic representations of the town, the venerable age of the Old Vine in Maribor was established primarily by investigating incremental cores and counting the growth rings each revealed. In 1972, professional measurements were the work of naturalist and professor Mirko Šoštarič and professor Lojze Hrček and were conducted by Prof. Dr. Rihard Erker, a dendrologist from the Forestry Department at the Biotechnical Faculty in Ljubljana. Based on a methodical probing of the vine and with the help of a microscope, Dr. Erker counted the growth rings and revealed that in 1972 the Old Vine was at least 350 years old, perhaps even 400 years old. The exact age could not be determined since a few centimetres of the middle of the vine's core was rotten. The credibility of the age of the Old Vine, along with detailed technical measurements made by Slovenian experts, was also confirmed by vine genetic experts in Paris.