Blog: Olly WehringOld master of the New World

Olly Wehring | 10 April 2006

A warm, slightly gloating welcome to the beginning of your week from Mendoza in Argentina. I’ve been dragged, kicking and screaming, to this staggering country by its wine trade body, Wines of Argentina. If they pull anything like this again, I’m telling my dad.

It’s been an eye-opening few days. Having spent the last two-and-a-half years writing about the country’s wine exploits, it’s been a pleasure to put faces to names. In fact, it’s been one pleasant surprise after another.

One surprise – to me at least – is the heritage Argentina’s wine industry can boast of, that flies in the face of its New World moniker. Having been making wine for around 150 years, and boasting a per capita wine consumption at one point of around 90 litres, the term New World looks like an oxymoron to me – and indeed to them.

The country’s winemakers take great pride in the legacy their country carries, and having been on the international stage for only nine years, the fifth-largest wine producing nation could be perfectly poised to exploit Old World dramas and Australian crises.

With apologies for this wine-soaked missive, last week’s big story was the eventual sale of Vincor International to Constellation Brands. Of course, hindsight is a wonderful thing, but, like many, I could never see the US wine giant take Vincor’s initial snub last year so quietly. For further musings on the first big wine buy of the year, check our Hot Topics section.

Meanwhile, all this fun has got me quite exhausted, so I’m off for a fortnight’s holiday around the rest of Argentina. Recommendations of what to do and where to go are all gratefully received at the usual address.


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