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Argentine winemakers set sights on Asian markets

on 15/03/11 at 8:22 pm


Winemakers in Mendoza, where prized Malbec vines grow beneath Andean peaks, celebrated the end of grape-picking this month with a traditional parade of harvest queens and floats laden with flowers.

But with festivities over for another year, Argentine vineyards have turned their attention to capturing relatively new Asian markets where burgeoning middle-classes are rapidly acquiring a taste for wine.

“Today China consumes less than a litre of wine per person per year,” said Cristina Brachetta, director of the Argentine Winemakers’ Corporation, which is leading a state plan to boost annual sales to $2 billion by 2020.

“That makes it a target with lots of potential,” Brachetta added.

Mendoza produces 90 percent of the South American country’s wine. Besides Malbec, Argentina’s most famous grape variety, lesser-known Bonarda and Torrontes wines thrive on sunny plains that stretch out below the snow-capped Andes.

{Full story via Reuters}

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