South American Wine Grape Production & Exports
Despite Argentina’s title as the fifth-largest wine producer in the world, Chilean wineries still have a greater hold in the world market for wine exports. This can mostly be attributed to the difference in each countries history as it relates to wine. Chile began the exportation of fine wines more than a decade ahead of Argentina, producing good varieties of standard grapes. Focusing most of their export energy on Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnays, Chile had a great deal of success in the production and sale of these popular wines because of their general popularity in many countries. Chile’s head start in exports as well as an increase in the number of hectares producing wine has allowed Chile to remain ahead of Argentina in exports.
Argentina on the other hand has seen a greater increase in wine exports, albeit just lately. The increase in foreign investment into Argentina greatly produced higher quality wines within the country and as a result, booming exports. Argentina’s success with its exports is also increasing at a higher rate than that of Chile, especially to the United States. Argentine wine is seeing a large increase in popularity with its featured grape, the Malbec, which in the United States is popular for its robust taste and flavor. The marketability of Argentina is said to be an increasing factor; with a marketable culture of Tango, Evita, and a culture known for excellent food Argentina is seeing a spike in its country’s popularity and as a result many of its other industries, including wine, are also doing well.
Other factors are sure to influence the industry in both countries. The economic stability in Chile compared to Argentina is safer in terms of foreign investment and the number of hectares producing wine nearly doubled as a result over the last decade. However, Chile’s local market is much smaller and will offer less of a cushion if their exports take a hit. Argentina on the other hand has its own set of problems; with the economy stabilizing and inflation increasing, the cost of running a winery, or building new ones has increased tremendously. This along with a 5% export tax, makes keeping an eye on the budget an essential part of Argentina’s future plans.
Both Chilean and Argentina wineries, however, are enjoying an increase in exports and the region is thriving. The difference in each country and how it associates with the market leave both countries strong and able to enjoy their success in sharing wine with the rest of the world for years to come.