Celebrating the diversity of Argentine wines

As director of winemaking for Argentina’s Grupo Peñaflor, Daniel Pi is responsible for annual wine production of more than 200m litres. He told us about the diversity of South American wines and the group he works for.

Grupo Peñaflor is the largest wine producer and exporter in Argentina. It was founded in 1914 and through the years has acquired a number of wineries. Grupo Peñaflor is 100% owned by the Bemberg family, who have been developing business in Argentina since the mid-1800s.

Today South American cuisine is recognised around the world, and South American wines are the perfect companion.

The wines represent the major wine regions in Argentina and covers a wide range of price points from entry level to iconic wines. Its iconic brand is Trapiche, which was recently named the New World Winery of the Year in the 2019 Wine Enthusiast Wine Star Awards, and is the only Argentine brand among the top 50 World’s Most Admired Wine Brands, according to Drinks International.

What characterises South American wines?
The South American winegrowing area is vast in diversity of landscape and spread. There are vineyards at more than 3,000 metres above sea level and vineyards at just a little above sea level. There are irrigated vineyards in desert conditions, and non-irrigated vineyards in Brazil or Buenos Aires or South Chile. South America has an enormous array of terroirs.

Which trends in consumer preference are affecting South American wines?
Today South American cuisine is recognised around the world, and South American wines are the perfect companion. There is interest in new terroirs, and more communication about the place of origin. Not just  grape varieties, but blends and specific terroir are catching the attention of consumers.

What challenges and opportunities do you see in 2020?
Challenges centre on global warming. There is an increase in average temperatures and limited water for irrigation due to a lack of snow in the mountains in winter. We also have to pay attention to tariffs and trade wars.

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Photo: Daniel Pi, Director of winemaking, Grupo Peñaflor