Chile exported 596.4 million liters (158 million gallons) of bulk, bottled, sparkling and packed wines in January through August, with average prices falling from $2.50 a liter in the same period last year to $2.03 a liter in the first eight months this year.
Argentine wine's surge into the American market in the past few years has been one of the most remarkable stories in the industry. But production in Argentina is not as quick to change. Will Argentine wineries be able to react quickly enough to claim new niches in the market?
The improvement in quality of wines from Chile, while maintaining value prices over the last ten years has been truly remarkable. I highlight a few below but read about all 13 on my Top 50 Value Wines list.
In a previous column, I noted that one can't speak of the growth and evolution of the California wine industry without mentioning the name Paul Hobbs. The same is true to an even greater extent with Hobbs's influence in Argentina.
Recently we wrote about Argentina's potential to be the next great source of cabernet sauvignon, but that's not the grape that wineries are pushing these days. In fact, a couple of others are queuing up to share the mantle with malbec. But can they follow in the footsteps of Argentina's greatest alcoholic export?
Any discussion of wine in Argentina is quick to single out Torrontés, a fragrant grape that was originally believed to be a Spanish, which is capable of producing exotic white wines. The vine is unique to Argentina and performs best in the high elevation vineyards in the northern most wine region of Salta.