Argentina - The Growing Environment & Grape Growing - Climate

5 important questions on Argentina - The Growing Environment & Grape Growing - Climate

What is the climate, and what influences the climate of Argentina? What is the impact on the wine?

  • Majority is continental climate
  • The low latitude is essential
  • Altitude is essential (not too hot); wide diurnal range of 20 degrees C often -> retain acidity and aromas
  • the above give intens sunlight/high uv radiation (high altitude) -> Higher tannins and anthocyanin
  • Winds: Zonda and El Niño
  • Low rainfall
  • Threats: summer hail and frost

Altitude is essential for the wines of Argentina. What is related to the location of this altitude?

  • The Andes mountains; except for Patagonia in the south, the vineyards are in the foothills of the Andes in the west.
  • The Andes is a rain shadow; rainfall very low; irrigation necessary
  • Dessert like conditions
  • Strong winds come from the mountains; Zonda - hot dry powerful wind
  • Lowest 500m
  • many above 1000m - even highest at 3300m
  • Even at highest altitude; vineyards are planted on flat or gentle sloping sites!

Zonda is a hot powerful dry wind coming from the Andes mountains in Argentina. What is the effect in the vineyard?

  • Dry air reduces risk of diseases
  • It lowers humidity and can create water stress which affects flowering and fruit set, reducing yields
  • Trees, poplars, may act as windbreaks

What are the threats in the climate of Argentina?

  • Summer hail is a constant threat -> reducing yields, netting used (expensive), spreading risk by owning more vineyards.
  • Frost in Mendoza's flat areas and bottom of slopes.

El Nino is another wind in Argentina, what happens then?

  • Occurs every two to ten years
  • Gives much higher rainfall, therefore more hailstorms
  • 2016: 25% reduction of crop (40% in Mendoza)

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