In a year in which economic ups and downs were the order of the day, Argentine wine surfed the wave in the best possible way to continue imposing itself on consumers’ tables.
“The internal and external market of Argentine wine is tending towards digitization and this year the interest in the values behind the production, the wine makers, the care towards the environment, its collaborators and the community that surrounds them was reinforced. ” begins Dolores Lavaque de Velasco, Director of Consultora Stg, who adds that in terms of product styles this 2022 highlighted “a trend towards fresher, fruitier wines, with good acidity and always well balanced.”
Marina Beltrame, director of the Argentine School of Sommeliers (EAS) adds that Argentine wine this year in the foreign market “followed the positioning of wines with brands that have penetrated the different categories, but mainly that of reds, which is becoming increasingly competitive “.
If we get fully into how the needle of purchase decisions moves in Argentine consumers, Lávaque anticipates that in his consultancy they carried out an X-ray of the Argentine wine consumer in which they were able to “detect that the main factor of choice on the part of consumers in our market is the variety: the elaboration strain was chosen in a non-exclusive way by 73% of the respondents Secondly, the brand or winery, chosen by 50% of the respondents as a purchase factor, which It continues to indicate the importance of betting on brand communication and reputation in a market saturated with proposals in which consumers need the clearest signals possible to guide their choices.Thirdly, the recommendation was decisive for the choice, indicated by 44.4% of those surveyed”.
The journalist and communicator Fabricio Portelli adds that “price continues to be the main driver of sales, something logical in a country with so much inflation, but more and more are interested, ask questions and follow makers and companies on social networks wineries to interact and learn more”.
Regarding notable milestones, Lávaque describes that this 2022 was a tremendous explosion. “Perhaps even exaggerated, from fairs and wine events. In any case -despite the oversupply of this type of event- they fill up, since post-pandemic people want to go out and enjoy in a group. The same happens with gastronomy: there is an explosion of gastronomic poles in the cities, in the capitals”.
An inseparable pairing is for Portelli quality and Malbec. “Although every year is difficult in this country, wine has shown itself to follow its own path thanks to two factors that drive an entire industry: quality and Malbec. Nobody stops quality anymore, because it improves with each harvest and because Everything learned with the best wines only serves to raise the bar and go further. In fact, this can be seen in every packaged wine, whether it is a bottle, BiB or Tetra Brik. And it should be noted that Malbec continues to be the most requested wine , the most consumed and the one we make the best. So much so that Malbec is becoming a category in the world, long before Argentina as a producing country. And if there is something to highlight this year, it is the stability in terms of sales and consumption, which It is saying a lot with 100% inflation and high competitiveness in the world, boosted by post COVID-19. Although some small and medium-sized producers have suffered more than necessary, in general the balance is positive, because in a country that does not grows, the wine continues to advance and if quantitatively it is not enough, qualitatively it exceeds expectations. And that assures him a good future, beyond the economic challenges that are coming”.
On the other hand, if we fully immerse ourselves in the Argentine sommellerie, this year a woman was once again consecrated as the best in the country: Andrea Donadio. “Eight of the nine national contests held since 2002 were won by women, in addition to the high level shown throughout the contest, which seems to me something to highlight” adds Lávaque, who also highlights “that although vermouth is a trend that was already coming on the rise, is finding an increasingly prominent place in the palate of Argentines, although in reality it is a habit that has returned”.
For Portelli, the trend continues to be called Malbec. “Wine is classic at heart and in the long run fashions become trends and trends end up being logical for consumption. Malbec will continue to be the standard. Thus the trend will not be a format, nor a style of wines (natural , bio or organic) nor an origin but it will continue to be a wine… and that is Malbec”.
How is 2023 projected? “The last six months of 2022, the wine price lists increased monthly given inflation, so I foresee a deepening of this situation, with a lack of products, reduced stocks due to what was lost in the late frosts suffered in November 2022 and Uncertainty regarding the export business in view of the elections and exchange rate instability. Regarding the development of new products or launches, I think they will go towards more sustainable wines. Everyone will have their organic line, thus reinforcing the values for caring for the environment Although I don’t see the proliferation of natural wines, or wines with low or no alcohol content.”
Like every year, for Portelli next year “will be unpredictable because it is yet to be determined how much the frost really affected, added to inflation and the elections. But the wine settles down as the months go by and pulled by the quality and Malbec will undoubtedly have another great year. Perhaps once again it will be more qualification than quantifiable. But that is the way for one day to achieve the economic results that everyone expects and that the wine deserves.”
The bet for next year Beltrame must be diversity. “We must continue to increase other categories outside of red wines because there seems to be a special interest in wines with little intervention that somehow accompany a ‘healthy consumption’ message. Although I personally believe that Argentine viticulture is little intervened in general and not You have to be radical about only consuming one type of wine or another or labeling them”.
Mariana Gil Juncal
Graduated in social communication, journalist and sommelier.