Argentina’s wine industry still struggles despite global acclaim

on 17/02/13 at 11:52 am

Wine

imagesArgentina has built up a world-class wine industry, luring a flood of wine tourists, but boosting the quality quotient is still keeping its winemakers hard at work.

The century-old industry, with its heart in the Mendoza area in the southwest, has increased volume by leaps and bounds in the past two decades, with Argentina’s malbec-based reds drawing raves worldwide.

“In the broad scheme of everything going on with wine around the world, we have a long way to go,” said Martin Castro, who runs a vineyard in the Valle de Uco area in Mendoza, a parched and sunny province abutting the soaring Andes that grows its grapes with a huge irrigation network fed by mountain water.

“On top-end wines, we still have work to do to compete globally. But we definitely have a presence with malbec, which is well-known globally,” Castro stressed, referring to the varietal used as a base grape in many meat-friendly local reds — a varietal that used to be common in Bordeaux, now less so.

If the industry has far to go, it also has come far, especially in the past few decades.

Argentina has become the world’s number-five producer, according to the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV). Meanwhile it is the world’s ninth-ranking exporter, and a big domestic consumer, the Argentine Wine Clearinghouse (OVA) said.

 

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