Marketing Wine, Beer, Spirits 0621-554.06
L Ronald Whitlock
Argentina Wine Industry
Not until I arrived did I have any idea that I was about to spend nearly a month at the very heart of Argentina’s wine industry. After all I had other and much bigger things on my mind, like Aconcaqua, the tallest mountain in the western hemisphere, which I was about to climb along with nine other climbers whom I had never meet and two guides whom I had never meet. The climb would take us 24 days which meant we had an additional 2 days in Mendoza on the way in and 3 more days in Mendoza on the way out. Unless of course we had to shorten our climb due to illness or accident or lengthen it due to snow storm delays. Both were quite probable, but turns out I was very lucky and not affected by either.
My first glass of wine in Argentina was a 2005 Luigi Bosca Malbec Reserve the night before the climb at our welcome dinner hosted by our two guides. This was their 8th year guiding climbers up Aconcaqua and they knew where to find great Argentina beef and great Argentina wine. That is how I first became aware of Argentina wines. Now, I will describe the Argentina wine industry and some of its challenges and opportunities I see for it today.
Their wine history dates back at least to 1550 when Spanish priests brought vines with them to Santiago del Estro.1 Soon after, the French started vineyards in Mendoza by planting the French vines including Malbec and Chardonnay.
The climate in the wine region is very dry and nearly ideal for vineyards with hot summers and cool winters located on high altitude plateaus on the eastern slopes of the Andes. In fact one of the keys to their success is the high altitude...