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News - 02.12.11

Argentine wine: Uncorking a Great Surprise

A group of British journalists visited Argentina between November 11 and 19, following an invitation by Wines of Argentina, in the framework of a program financed by the Federal Council of Investment.

A group of British journalists visited Argentina between November 11 and 19, following an invitation by Wines of Argentina, in the framework of a program financed by the Federal Council of Investment. The aim of this program is to promote Argentine winemaking and invite visitors to tour the country’s wine regions and get a taste of their gastronomy.

 

The group visited Buenos Aires, Cafayate and Mendoza and was integrated by Anthea Gerrie (The Independent and Jewish Chronicle); David Gerrie (freelance writer for Food & Travel, The Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail); Dave Drummond (Eat Me Magazine) and Rosie Birkett (Squares Mile and other Lifestyle magazines).

 

Their activities in Argentina included a tasting of Patagonian wines in Buenos Aires and visits and tastings in wineries of Cafayate and Mendoza.

 

“The best story I have to tell involves the blends and the number of varietals that are being developed in this region,” said Anthea Gerrie, who added that in general, in wine stores, people get a different impression of Argentina. “It will be good to say that when it comes to wine, Argentina is so much more than Malbec. On the other hand, Malbec is such a good ambassador that people may never stop buying it, because they love it too much.”

 

Gerrie commented that this was her first visit to Argentina’s wine country, but she had visited Buenos Aires two years before, when she tasted Argentine wines and was particularly surprised by the differences she noticed between them and Chilean wines. She was also impressed by the vast vineyards she could see in our country.

 

With respect to Torrontés, she added, “I know that the most famous Torrontés wines come from the North, but I loved the ones I tasted in Mendoza, though I also found some good blends among the ones I tasted in the Northern part of your country.” She also made special mention of the Chardonnays – particularly  those of Patagonia –, which she described as “a pleasant surprise”.

 

David Gerrie and Dave Drummond, in turn, agreed that it is important to educate consumers and trade members. In addition, they referred to a new generation of consumers who are not loyal to brands, but wish to discover new wines and constantly change their options: “They can represent a great market for the industry.”

 

The journalists commented that “when people think of French wine, they know they will spend between 10 and 20 pounds, but when it comes to Argentine wine, the quality is extremely high and the price is much lower.” They also explained that the problem with Argentine wine is that it is less known than Chilean wines or the least known European wines: “Educate, educate and educate: that is how people will discover the marvelous varietals and blends that Argentina has, and at very good prices. English consumers favor supermarket price points and seek to buy wines between 7 and 8 pounds. They need to know that they are in for a very pleasant surprise when they uncork the bottle.”

 

 

Market information:

 

According to a report by Caucasia, for the period from January to August 2011, exports into the United Kingdom amounted to USD 30,347,500 FOB, which represents a 9.1% increase with respect to the same period in 2010. Exports of 9-liter boxes reached USD 1,022,405. The average price is USD 29,71 FOB per 9-liter box, which represents a 15.48% increase with respect to the same period in 2010.