Argentinian wine exports are expected to increase between 20% and 30% this year, in a boom which is prompting a rash of new investments.
The figure for the 2004 harvest was nearly 3m kg, 15% higher than that of last year. The National Institute of Viticulture also reported an increase in grape quality as well as quantity.
The yield in Mendoza was 10% higher than in 2003 and San Juan showed a 27% increase in production. The other grape-producing provinces reported a similar increase in yields.
Out of the 1,237 wineries registered at the National Institute of Viticulture, 903 pressed grapes this year – a 6% increase on 2003. This fact accounts for wineries´ strong investment plans for this year, which involve improving production capacity and developing marketing strategies.
Norton winery produced three times as much this year as in 2003. Production manager Luis Steindl said Norton would be investing in new launches ‘and to raise production capacity.’
Catena Zapata is set to invest US$2m in new infrastructure, marketing and trade channels. ‘We are launching campaigns in the UK, Denmark, Belgium and the US,’ export manager Leandro Juarez said.
Catena is also dividing its two mainstream brands Argento and Catena into dedicated off- and on-trade brands.
And at Finca La Celia, owned by Chile-based San Pedro, US$1m is being invested in new barrels and marketing projects.
Written by Jaquelina Jimena