Argentinian wine: world-class wine players

Argentina is one of football’s great nations. in terms of wine, its Malbec is also high scoring. Christian Davis kicks off


MALBEC IS Argentina’s equivalent to its soccer success (World Cup winners in 1978 and 1986 – the match featuring Maradona’s infamous ‘hand of god’ goal).

Phil Crozier, Wines of Argentina brand ambassador for the UK and Europe, tells Drinks International: “Since 2006, Argentina’s global wine sales have more than trebled to more than $900m.

“Today, Argentina’s wine producers are breaking new ground and redefining their winemaking. By combining exceptional terroirs of great diversity with classic and indigenous grape varieties, by mixing tried-and-true traditions with cutting-edge technology and modern techniques, they are able to continually improve Argentina’s wine offering.

“It’s like a new era for us. We are working on developing our own national identity in winemaking by trusting our efforts and believing in our terroir capacity to deliver exceptional wines,” says Crozier.

Chakana chief winemaker and general manager Gabriel Bloise says: “Argentina is still a relatively little-known player in the wine sector, in spite of strong growth in the first decade of this century. I would say its USP is still very much related to Malbec as an ‘original’ variety, which is good and bad as it both constitutes a clear selling point – easy to convey and to remember – but is also very limiting in its scope and difficult to articulate as a broader, more interesting quality origin.”

Tapiz winery owner Patricia Ortiz, says: “The future is brilliant. The world is starting to understand and discover the quality and diversity that Argentina can deliver. Being just 4% in the global market allows us to grow and show we are not just Malbec. The USP for us is consistent wines that deliver a lot in each price point.”

Trivento is owned by Concha y Toro, South America’s largest wine producer and one of the world’s most admired wine brands, according to Drinks International’s annual independent survey. Chief winemaker Germán Di Cesare, says: “The Argentinian wine industry’s commitment to consumers has always been clear and honest: to provide excellent quality Argentinian-style wines with affordable prices. As an industry, we must stick to that promise to keep consumers choosing us.”

Familia Zuccardi winemaker Sebastian Zuccardi says: “Today, a new generation of viticulturists work together. They have the opportunity to travel around the best vine-growing regions, they share their knowledge and they explore the diversity of these lands.”

Finca Decero chief commercial officer Stephanie Morton-Small points out: “Although once focused on big, generous, fruit-driven styles, Argentina now bridges the Old and New World wine styles with more structured, elegant wines from high-altitude, sub-appellation or even single vineyard origin. While navigating consumer demand, Argentina has consistently offered wines which over-deliver at their price point, be that at RSP $20, $70 or $150.”

Gauchezco Vineyard & Winery winemaker Mauricio Vegetti says: “Argentina still has a relatively small participation in the total global wine sector, but is increasing year by year in the on and off-trade with our key varieties, such as Malbec, and also with Cabernet Franc and blends.