A guide to the 2016 harvest: Argentina

Argentinian Harvest scenes 2016The 2016 harvest in Argentina will be remembered as one of the coolest, shortest, and in many cases one of the most challenging, in recent history. But while the winemakers had to stay on their toes, the wines are showing real elegance with naturally lower alcohols.


Here is a round-up of the harvest by two of our Argentinean producers:



For Laura Catena, the 2016 harvest has been the coolest in the last three decades. The El Nino phenomenon started over the winter of 2015 and snow poured over the Andes, filling up the mountain streams and underground aquifers to historic highs.

The extremely cool summer that followed, however, ended up being a saving grace. Yields were down by 40 to 50% throughout Mendoza and the more sparsely spread fruit were thus protected from disease. The cool climate also prevented botrytis from spreading throughout the province.

This was one of the shortest overall harvest seasons in recent years, having started two to three weeks late and ending two weeks early. The 2016 wines are unusually low in alcohol, with high natural acidity.



The 2016 growing season has been quite unusual in Mendoza and for winemaker Silvia Cortez, the weather had more similarities to some regions of the Old World, like Burgundy.

It was a very fresh, long and rainy spring, followed by a cool and rainy summer, making it one of the most challenging vintages of Silvia’s career. The white grapes reached ripeness with less sugar concentration, great aromatic flavours and very pleasant freshness due to the higher acidity.

Malbec suffered the most this year, with an estimated reduction of 40%. However, due to the lower yield, the remaining grapes are showing better concentration of colour and flavours. In the Uco Valley and upper regions of the Central Valley, Malbec reached good phenolic and sugar ripeness. The resultant wines are well-structured, with good ageing potential.

Find out more about the 2016 harvest across the rest of the Southern Hemisphere.


16th June 2016

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