Kravitz still has a knack for finding good wines at great prices – Robert Parker, Parker on Wine, BusinessWeek, 8/20 & 27, 2007

Hand Picked Selections in Mendoza

Mendoza's wine industry is to Argentina what California's is to the U.S. It produces 85% of Argentina's wine and dominates quality as well. 347,000 acres yield 150 million cases, an average of 5.5 tons/acre (California averages 7).

The key to quality in Mendoza is elevation. The higher vineyards have poorer soil, steeper slopes, a cooler, windier climate and lower yields. Low vineyards at 450 metres (less than 1500 feet) can never give anything but ordinary wine. The ‘tipping point' for quality is 1000 metres (3300 feet). Anybody planting from here up is serious about quality. Now growers driven to produce great wine push plantings ever higher, as far as 1600 metres (5300 feet).

The industry is in a great state of fermentation and flux. Exports are surging. Since an economic collapse in Argentina at the end of 2001, accompanied by a huge devaluation of the Peso, the values have led importers from dozens of countries to Mendoza.

Most recently, Australia's ongoing drought has led to a huge drop in yields. This in turn has led to a policy of reserving Australia's own wines for export markets. Large Australian producers catering to the domestic market have been arriving in Argentina in search of tens of millions of gallons of bulk wine to quench the thirst of Australian consumers.

With recent surges in exports (in both bottle and bulk) to the U.S., Brazil and China as well as Europe, there will be some upward pressure on prices over the next few years. However with substantial acreage available to plant, Argentina should continue to become an increasingly important player in the world of wine.



Agostino Familia
Alfredo Roca