South America 1992: Drink now
Weather conditions are stable and typical throughout the regions. Global warming is showing a minimal effect in reducing the size of the snow-cap and glacier size in the high Andes. In the south, in Patagonia, Argentina, Rìo Negro is warming slightly also. Humberto Canale is the only producer of wine still holding out against the pressure to convert to fruit farming.
Other than an expansion in Chile, with more vineyards being planted, nothing much has changed. The best regions in Chile are Maipo, Lontue and Casablanca, but in truth most were able to produce reasonable quality fruit. It is the winemaking facilities that make all the difference here. The same can be said in Argentina, where all the big money rests in Mendoza. The old heartland of Mendoza has seen, by this stage, a large-scale demise of vineyards in the hail-stone prone areas of San Rafael, and a concentration in the areas around Mendoza proper. Some people are beginning to sniff around the Uco Valley to the west. In Uruguay it is Canelones that makes the best wines.
There is much greater variety to choose from in Chile. Good winemakers like Aurelio Montes are making their mark. Miguel Torres continues to study his plants and the conditions. You can tell that much thought is going into the whole of the Chilean wine scene. Large-scale investments are changing the very fabric of a centuries-old industry. Money is now pouring into Chile from important wine institutions from around the world.