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News - 10.09.13

“Argentina should fight to maintain its space in the face of an avalanche of imported wines coming to Colombia”

According to the distributor, the country is facing a complex situation, after the free trade agreement this market reached with the European Union. Jean Louis de Bedout visited Mendoza, together with a group of Latin American buyers invited by Wines of Argentina.

This group of distributors from different parts of Latin America was in Mendoza and San Juan, participating in business rounds, touring different wineries and tasting wines from all over Argentina. The buyers were invited by Wines of Argentina to make them know Argentina better, as well as its products, vineyards and winemakers.

In this opportunity, WineSur talked with Jean Louis de Bedout, who works for the Colombia-based distributor ‘Licorela’ with products from over 15 countries, products that are distributed nationwide.

What was your vision of Argentine wines in your visit?

I have been really surprised by the boom of wineries that have emerged recently in Argentina, heavily focused on quality and not so much on volume.

Argentina is posing other business plan, with a natural evolution, where there is another reference regarding quality and prices of wines.

I have always been surprised how in Argentina’s wine-making, the fruit level has prevailed over oak, and this concept, highly appreciated by consumers, is still present but now, more focused on quality.

Besides, what are the varieties that surprised you most?

I was amazed by the quality and development of Cabernet Franc and Viognier. In the case of the latter, I found very interesting whites, which pair perfectly with fish that Colombia has in abundance.

Colombian consumers are waiting a different alternative of Argentine wines, because they got tired of the traditional Malbec. In this respect, I think there is a great opportunity to progress in blends and Bonardas. As regards Bonarda, completely unknown in Colombia, I have tasted outstanding examples that Colombians could fall in love with them.

What is the consumers’ behavior in Colombia in relation to Argentine wines?

There are two segments of consumers. One of them, the minority, is the wine connoisseur, and the great percentage, the novice in this issue. I think Argentine wines can reach both segments.

Argentina offers the novice easy-to-drink wines. In this segment, the favorite varieties are Malbec and Torrontés, the latter as a latest trend.

Whereas in the other segment, Argentina is providing an interesting range of products, more complex, structured, and developed; wines that were born from vineyards with more limited yields, of older grapes, where the plot quality is carefully controlled, and therefore, flavors are more concentrated.

From now on, Argentina should fight to maintain its space in the face of an avalanche of imported wines coming to Colombia. This is due to the free trade agreement Colombia reached with the European Union, which will enable it to import high-quality products at competitive prices.