It’s been a tricky harvest for much of Argentina, with yet another warm and wet vintage that will separate the good winemakers from the inexperienced.
Written for Wine-Searcher
Argentina received the tail-end of Chile’s odd climatic year. In the south, the Patagonian region of Chubut had to pick earlier than planned in order to avoid ash fall from Chile’s volcanic explosion damaging the crops. “Normally in the region, Merlot is harvested between May 2-5, but we had to pick it early because of the bad predictions of ash settling,” said Dario Gonzalez, a consultant in the region.
In Mendoza, the heartland of Argentine wine, the harvest was unusually wet and warm. Many producers, who are not used to dealing with humid conditions in its normally dry climate, lost large quantities of fruit to adverse conditions. “This harvest was a very strange one,” commented Leo Erazu, winemaker for Altos Las Hormigas. “It started really warm for two months, and then the constant rainy periods affected some areas very badly, and strong hailstorms damaged a lot of hectares. Rot attacks were very common from March onwards; downy mildew attacks were widespread in all the Pedriel and Agrelo areas. The hail badly affected some regions such as El Peral in Tupungato, some vineyards lost up to the 50 percent of the yield … Harvest time was very important this year. Because of the human scale of our project we still managed to taste every block of grapes, and harvested almost everything before the rain came.”
The challenge this year was on getting the timing right; dodging the rains and coping with the early harvest. “The spring buds arrived 20 days earlier than a normal year,” said winemaker Matias Michelini, winemaker for Passionate Wines, Zorzal and Sophenia in the Uco Valley, where he is always one of the first to harvest. “It has been one of the shortest harvests I remember…”
Read the full report at Wine-Searcher