Warning issued with Argentina braced for worst wine harvest in more than 60 years
Bad weather leads to early picking with estimates putting a drop in volume of more than 20 per cent.
It is one of the most important viticultural areas of the world but the news coming out of Argentina point to one of the most disappointing harvests in the nation’s recent history.
The severe frosts that arrived in late Spring (November last year) saw the country declare an agricultural state of emergency as temperatures dropped to around -5C, with the accompanying hail storms increasing the damage caused to the vineyards. The fall in temperature can be enough to kill the buds that grow into the grape crop, with an early warning issued late last year that appears to have proved accurate – losses ranging from 70-90 per cent of anticipated yield were predicted.
Another drop in temperature occurred recently, with a number of areas deciding on an early harvest, early figures suggesting a fall of 21 per cent in volume produced across the country compared last year.
One of the worst affected areas is Mendoza, home to 600 wineries and boasting a typical annual output of 264 million gallons. The region has endured the added problem of severe droughts for a number of years, with an estimated 23 per cent reduction in the volume of wine produced in 2023.
Argentina is the fifth largest wine producing country in the world, behind only France, Spain, Italy and the US.