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SOUTH AMERICA Argentina and Chile are the two most important wine producing countries Argentina is the largest producer on the continent can sell virtually everything it produces both at home and in neighboring Brazil Chile produces the best quality

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south america
  • Argentina and Chile are the two most important wine producing countries
    • Argentina is the largest producer on the continent
      • can sell virtually everything it produces both at home and in neighboring Brazil
    • Chile produces the best quality
      • actively seeks and is achieving a major international market
a little history
  • Wine production came to South America with the first European explorers (conquistadors)
  • grape vines were planted
    • the first wines from this area came to be made in the either the Spanish or the Portuguese styles of the time
a little history3
  • the church had a great deal of influence on the spread of wine making
  • Records show grape vines being grown in Peru in the early 16th century
  • legend has them traveling south from Peru with the Franciscan missionaries
    • planted in both Chile and Argentina by the middle of that same century
a little history4
  • The variety most commonly used by the Franciscan missionaries
    • In California it is called the Mission
    • In Chile it is the Pais
    • in Argentina, it becomes the Criolla Chica
  • generally acknowledged as the first vinifera variety planted on a large scale in South America
    • grows virtually anywhere
    • extremely hardy, and when irrigated can produce massive yields
a little history5
  • Immigration into Argentina over the past two centuries has come mostly from Spain, but also from Italy and France
  • In Chile, the majority of immigration at one time came from the Basque regions in Spain
  • the sixth largest wine producing country in the world
  • its wines are rarely seen outside of South America
    • domestic consumption
    • demand from an extensive local market, both at home and in neighboring Brazil
    • in the 1980s, per capita usage was in the neighborhood of 90 litres per person (now at 50 L in 1997)
  • Malbec has taken over from Criolla as the dominant variety
    • Cabernet Sauvignons and Pinot Noir
    • a greater number of Italian varieties are already in place, such as Barbera and Sangiovese
    • Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Chenin Blanc are finding moderate success
  • Pedro Ximenez
    • the main variety in Spanish sherries
    • the dominant white variety
  • Torrontes
    • a white grape variety of Spanish origin
  • More than two thirds are made in the province of Mendoza
    • the run-off of melt waters from the Andes
    • Sophisticated irrigation system of dams, reservoirs and canals
      • also being used to flood the vineyards as a novel way of eliminating the vine louse, phylloxera
  • San Juan
    • second largest wine producing region
      • hotter area
      • the majority of its production is in bulk
  • La Rioja
    • the oldest wine producing region
      • one of the smallest in terms of yield.
  • the wineries themselves who have come up with their own Denominacion de Origen (DO) system
  • soon include three DOs
    • including Lujan de Cuyo, San Raphael and Maipu
  • produces a large number of good, inexpensive wines
  • also produces a growing number of superb wines
  • won its independence from Spain in the early 1850s
    • immediately sought to create “quality” wines
  • In 1851, Don Silvestre Ochagavia Echazarreta
    • a wealthy Basque landowner
  • hired a French wine maker named Monsieur Bertrand
    • brought with him more than 200 vine cuttings of the Bordeaux standards
      • Cabernet, Merlot, Malbec, Semillon, Sauvignon, and Riesling
    • found that they all worked exceptionally well
  • at almost exactly the same time phylloxera was about to devastate the vineyards of Europe
  • essentially saved the better vinifera varieties
    • the same vines in Europe were virtually wiped out
    • Bertrands cuttings managed to miss being hit
    • the only country in the world totally untouched by the dual plagues of Phylloxera and the downy mildew
  • fairly strict government controls and quarantines dealing with any kind of plant material coming into the country
    • Chile is the only major wine producing country in the world which does not have to graft its vines onto North American root stock
  • Sunshine is plentiful
  • the soil is incredibly fertile
    • disease free
  • Andes mountains provide irrigation
    • the ancient Incas created a complex series of canals in order to direct the run-off to the best locations
  • added advantage of the cold Humboldt current
    • creates a coastal fog
  • Chile’s five main wine growing regions
  • Aconcagua
    • furthest north and best known for bulk production
    • much of it going to the making of the local brandy, Pisco
  • the chief wine region
    • most likely to be seen on labels in the export market
    • Varied soil types
    • Production is 50/50 reds to whites
other regions
Other Regions


    • becoming known for Bordeaux style whites and reds


  • a cooler region where Pais still dominates but Bordeaux varieties can do well when treated with tender loving care
bio bio
  • little known outside
  • produces mostly Pais and Muscat for bulk local consumption
  • Cabernet Sauvignon is the most successful red grape
  • Riesling is considered the best white
    • little of this is ever seen on the international market
the rules
The Rules
  • rules regarding vintage dating are unfortunately nonexistent
  • National Council for External Trade
    • wines for export have to be at least 11.5% alcohol if they are red, and 12% if they are white
the rules22
The Rules
  • A wine at least one year old must look “clear, healthy and with a strong color”
  • Export wines are classified by age
    • “Current”
      • Wine one year old
    • “Special”
    • two years old
the rules23
The Rules
  • “Reserve”
    • considered the best
    • must be at least four years old
  • “Gran Vino”
    • wines which have aged for at least six years or more.
  • making a remarkable comeback since the Eastern Bloc Revolution of 1989
  • wine making history goes back to Roman times
  • 17th century brought Tokay Aszu
    • A rich and delicious dessert wine
  • Communist takeover in 1947 did the opposite here to what it did in Bulgaria
    • State control blocked new technology
      • Quality declined
  • demise of Communist control in 1989
    • Many of the vineyards remained in private hands
  • using indigenous varieties
  • wines are regularly labeled with the name of the town or area that they originate in first
    • followed either by the grape variety or the type of wine
  • red grape varieties include Kedarka Kekfrankos, and Kekoporto
  • white grape varieties are Harslevelu and Furmint
  • The six main growing areas
    • subdivided into about twenty separate regions


    • Kekfrankos is perhaps its best known red wine


  • moderating influence of Lake Balaton on the local climate
    • Badacsonyi Szurkebarat (Grey Friar of Badacsonyi) is a well known white wine.


  • Red wines are produced from Kadarka, Kekoporto and Nagyburgundi (Blaufrankish) varieties


  • ‘the Great Plain’
    • A large sandy plain which stretches between the Danube and Tisza rivers
  • the largest of all wine growing areas
    • Over half of Hungary’s total vineyard area
  • most famous Hungarian red wine, Egri Bikaver (Bulls Blood of Eger)
    • Made from a blend Kedarka, Kekfrankos and Merlot
  • reputation came from the 16th century
    • Eger was defended from Turkish invasion by soldiers who were supposedly fortified with copious amounts of this wine
  • appeared on the ramparts, their beards dripping with red
    • their enemies are said to have believed that they had been drinking “the blood of bulls,”
tokaj or tokay
Tokaj (or Tokay)
  • produces the world famous sweet wine that carries the same name
    • extra letter “i” implies the word “village”
      • added to the wine name so that it becomes “Tokaji Aszu” or wine “from” Tokaj
      • only the varieties Furmint, Harslevelu and Sargamuskotaly (yellow muscat) are permitted
tokaj or tokay34
Tokaj (or Tokay)


  • Botrytis affected grapes


  • ‘as it comes’
  • Harvested grapes not botrytis affected


  • 136 litre barrel


  • Special mold used in the production
  • Lines all cellars


  • Basket used for harvest that holds approximately 26 L of grapes
tokaj or tokay35
Tokaj (or Tokay)
  • mature a portion of the grapes into an overripe state
    • the humidity of the autumn mornings encourages the growth of noble rot
  • shriveled bunches are collected separately and ground up into a paste (almost raisin like)
tokaj or tokay36
Tokaj (or Tokay)

Production method

  • Szamonrdni grapes harvested and fermented
  • Barrels not filled all the way to allow for racodium to enter in (flor like conditions)
  • Prepared Aszu grapes measured out in puttonyos and added to barrels and aged
    • Normally 2 years longer than the number of puttonyos added (3 putt. = 5 years aging)
tokaj or tokay37
Tokaj (or Tokay)
  • label on most Tokay Aszu will state 3, 4, or 5 “Putts.”
  • The more puttonyos of raisin-like grapes added to a cask of regular wine, the richer this wine becomes
    • From three to six puttonyos or “Putts” are usually added
tokaji aszu eszencia
Tokaji Aszu Eszencia
  • only the juice of the raisin-like botrytis affected “Aszu” berries is fermented
    • High amount of sugar
    • a special yeast must be used called Tokay 22
      • fermentation can take several years
  • must be aged a minimum of 10 years in oak
    • 180-240 g of sugar / litre
tokay essence
Tokay Essence
  • During the week or so of initial storage the pressure of the grapes themselves produces a tiny amount of free-run juice that concentrates at the bottom of the tub
    • The average yield from one puttonyo will be a minuscule 142 ml. or 5 oz. of Essence
    • 150 litres per year obtained
    • 800 g sugar / litre
  • Essence is allowed to ferment in oak for a number of years
    • Documented to last 300 years
south africa41
  • eighth largest producer in the world
  • struggle these days between producing quantity and quality
    • reputation for quality was made over two hundred years ago with Constantia
      • an elegantly structured dessert wine
south africa42
  • face two major problems
    • a rapidly shrinking domestic market
      • average annual consumption is nine litres per person
    • stiff competition from the rest of the southern hemisphere wine producers
south african wine history
South African Wine History
  • Jan van Riebeeck of the Dutch East India Company is credited with making the first wines in the Cape in 1659
    • looking for a cure for scurvy
  • In 1886 Phylloxera Vastatrix, hit the Cape
    • grafting of vines had such a great degree of success that replanting got out of hand
      • huge surplus (“wine lake”)
south african wine history44
South African Wine History
  • Ko-operatiewe Wijnbouwers Verenigning van Zuid-Afrika Beperkt (KWV)
    • the Co-operative Winegrowers Association was formed in 1918
    • purpose was to set prices, determine quota limits, control quality and to see to the disposition of excess wine
south african wine history45
South African Wine History
  • KWV includes 4,900 individual growers and has over seventy member coops which crush up to 85% of the grapes harvested
    • distill up to half of this into brandy
  • seventy-nine wine estates
    • grow their own grapes instead of buying them
  • Breede River Valley (includes Robertson, Swellendam, Tulbagh and Worcester)
  • Boberg (includes Paarl & Tulbagh)
  • Coastal Region (includes Constantia, Durbanville, Paarl, Stellenbosch, Swartland & Tulbagh)
  • Klein Karoo
  • Olifantsriver
  • Benede-Orange
wine of origin districts
Wine of Origin Districts

Constantia Robertson Durbanville Stellenbosch Klein Karoo Swartland Ollfantsriver Swellendam Orange River Tulbagh Overberg Walker Bay Paarl Worcester Piketberg

south african wine rules
South African Wine Rules
  • Prior to 1973, there were no rules
    • producers could lie about what was in the bottle
  • In 1973
    • government introduced a system of control for “Wines of Origin”
      • their wines were sold with a rather colourful “Seal of Origin” on their capsule
        • known locally as a “bus ticket”
south african wine rules49
South African Wine Rules

Bus Ticket

  • if the wine had a vintage date
    • a red band showed at least 75% of the wine was from that vintage
  • A blue band signified that the wine was certified to come from the region stated on the label
  • a green band told you that there was at least 75% of that variety in the wine
south african wine rules50
South African Wine Rules


  • judged by the Wine & Spirit Board’s tasting panel
    • Has a seal with a gold background
    • all of them contained a center panel that contained identification and serial numbers
south african wine rules51
South African Wine Rules
  • While the rules have stayed the same, the entire seal has changed
    • The seals are smaller and much less obtrusive
    • they guarantee that the information on the labels is accurate within the percentages
south african varieties
South African Varieties


  • Most important variety grown
    • also known as Chenin Blanc
  • made into a vast variety of wines
  • very dry whites with a wonderful rose blossom aroma to the sweet Edelkeur
    • made of late picked grapes afflicted by Noble Rot
south african varieties53
South African Varieties
  • Other important white grapes are Palomino, Cape Riesling, Rhine Riesling, Colombard, Gewurztraminer and Clairette Blanc
  • red grape varieties most used are Pinotage, Cinsault (most planted red grape), as well as Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Gamay and Zinfandel
south african wine laws
South African Wine Laws
  • In 1980, the wine industry adopted regulations for allowable amounts of residual sugar patterned after the German Wine Law
    • rules are specific about the sugar left in the finished wine
      • not simply concerned about the must weight at harvest
        • range runs from 0.25% for dry wines, up to 5% residual sugar for Noble Late Harvest wines.


  • ruby red to red/brown


  • Green peppers
  • Blackberry
  • Black plum


  • Some herbaceous tones
  • Sweet tasting fruit
  • Low acidity
  • Black fruit and spice flavors
  • Rich round tannins
  • Sweet / savory flavor


  • Blending grape in Bordeaux
  • Chilean reds


  • Also called grande vidure in Bordeaux
  • Late ripener


  • Dark purple color


  • Violets
  • Very perfumed
  • Tobacco leaf


  • Fat rich fruits
  • Raisins
  • tobacco
  • Ripe tannins


  • Bordeaux blending grape
  • Also grown in Argentina and Chile
  • Called Cot in Loire Valley
  • Also known as Auxerrois


  • Native grape from south-west France (Cahors)
  • Susceptible to coulure