Argentine Wine Dragged Down By Red Tape

935277_10200909508682061_1155601066_nWritten for on 26 Nov 2012

Public frustration with the economic policies of Argentine president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is on the rise – as evidenced by a recent series of mass cacerolazos, or pot-banging protests. Yet while the wine industry is at the forefront of the discontent, few producers will speak on record for fear of reprisals. What they describe under a cloak of anonymity is an industry ensnared by changing economic policies and hit by retaliatory action from abroad.

Chief among their complaints is a law introduced this year demanding that government licenses must be issued before any goods can be imported. Not surprisingly, the wine industry is significantly affected; it depends on foreign suppliers for more than 90 percent of its winemaking accessories – including ingredients, processing and bottling equipment, and oak barrels.

What’s more, a shortage of government staff to process the license applications has caused havoc for wine producers, with delays stretching over six months or more as imported items sit idle – or waste away – at Customs…

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