Wine Panorama: A Vintage full of news and rumors

By Marcelo López special for MendoVoz

Past the harvest and in full harvest the tribulations of the industry remain the same. Institutionally, the crack seems to have widened during the weekend of festivities, when there is so much glamor and invitation cards, jealousy ends up deepening the differences.

There would be a thousand gossips to tellfrom colleagues who ended up with intoxications in one of the midday events to the faces of annoyance at who was named or not, or the differences in tone of the speeches of the officials in one event or another. But the most interesting of the rumors is that -in one of the events- a character let it be known that in the most traditional of the winery entities the old guard would already be talking “to put something together” diplomatically upset by the direction that entity took in recent months and the high degree of conflict in which the current management has developed.

On the other hand, the achievement of unlocking on time the agreement between the National Ministry of Agriculture, INV and COVIAR It was one of the news on harvest Saturday. There are still several points to iron out, some of them important, but the agreement has already been signed and it is a step towards starting the TEST 2 which will be very important to optimize the use of water in seasons that are predicted to be very difficult. Just as PROVIAR 1 was essential for the regularization of domains and the reconversion and improvement of vineyards. This one coming It will be essential for the future of these vineyards due to the expected water shortage.

Meanwhile, March and the harvest advance at a redoubled pace and the unknowns and tensions increase. The first big unknown is what will actually be the volume of the harvest. Some private estimates from wineries, engineers and oenologists place it at no more than 18 million, which adds tension to the negotiation of the price of grapes that, at least in expectations, would have improved this week. In grapes for basic wines and musts, there is already talk of values ​​that are very close or even slightly higher than those that the producer associations had been claiming. The grapes for high-end wines, especially in the Uco Valley, are valued at between 80 and 90 pesos. On the side of the wineries, they maintain that they are values ​​​​difficult to pay, but they will have to approach and they warn that there is a lot of wine and there will be more because shipments both in installments for the internal and external markets and in bulk continue and will they continue? down. Some characters returned to an old threat, importing wine to lower prices. An ever-present ghost more in the form of fake news than reality.

Almost the same debate takes place with the Mendoza-San Juan agreement for the must elaboration and market regulation. The scarce harvest and the storms revived the demands for the percentage destined to must to be lowered ostensibly. However, the defenders of the agreement recall that what is lost due to hail is deducted from the quota of must to be produced and they assure that politics is sticking its tail.

Why do they say that politics is sticking its tail. Because they assure that there are officials pressing to lower the must and there is wine to make the Wine Bank they still can’t show off with rhinestones. Here we must remember that the Bank has a cost for the coffers of the province, something that does not happen with the must and they also emphasize that the person in charge of the Mendoza Wine Bank is already in the campaign looking at San Juan. They obviously talk about Alfredo Aciar who has already launched his candidacy for mayor for radicalism in his native Jachal.

As we anticipated two weeks ago, the pressures are redoubling for the INV to modify the ratio for red wines. Today reds must have a minimum of 85 percent red grapes and a maximum of 15 percent white grapes. The pressures come fundamentally because the most important stocks are those of whites, however, it is a fact that the INV will remain unalterable in the resolutions that have a single objective, to care for and improve the quality of the products that reach the consumer.

In this area, taking advantage of the Harvest, The Wine Fund organized a meeting at the Fecovita facilities among the producers of basic wines, the Tetra Pack company, market analysts and consultants, and journalists from Buenos Aires and locals. The purpose of the meeting was more than interesting; demystify and explain something that seems ridiculous to have to explain and that is that in the Tetra Pack there is wine as noble and of such good quality as in the most painted bottles. The idea is really good because despite the “bad reputation” almost 60% of the wines sold in the domestic market are basic wines without varietal mention and 40% are sold in the box packaging.

There are also movements in bulk wines, next Thursday the Chamber of the sector will present a bulk e-commerce portalone more step in continuing to grow in the tough global dispute over these markets.

As can be seen, if there is something that was missing in the Vintage, it was the novelties.