Vine Varieties in other Countries



2.1 South America viticulture vine varieties: Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Peru and Uruguay – “Old Colonial” viticulture

Viticulture in Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Peru, and Uruguay can be defined as “colonial viticulture,” Table 2.16 Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Peru and Uruguay viticulture vine varieties but we could also call it “mixed-race” or “Creole” viticulture. These varieties introduced in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries entered into the group of varieties of these nations, and are the ones on which analysts of "fingerprinting" are raging. Such varieties are “País (bl.)” in Chile, the numerous “Criolla” and “Cereza” ones in Argentina, the “Negras” and “Criollas” in Peru. In California, ex-Spanish colony, called “Mission.”

The New World adopted some varieties that were less important in Europe and are the base for new Designation of Origin wines. For example, Malbec (bl.) and Bonarda (bl.) (Freisa?) for viticulture in Mendoza; Tannat (bl.) for Uruguay and Carmenère (bl.) for Chile; until recently, this latter variety was confused and wrongly called “Merlot.”

South American vine growing and wine-producing systems are subject to economic instability, accompanied by abandonment, as occurred during the 1975-1985 crisis.

These nations typically have wineries and vineyards established on capitalist and mercantilist bases and managed industrially. Vine-growing and wine-producing systems are entirely different from European ones.

In particular, Argentinian viticulture (table 2.16.a Argentina wine grapes varieties), established in arid or semi-arid areas, finds water resources a limiting factor and requires bringing in enormous volumes of water. Many varieties have a dual purpose, among them Moscato di Alessandria (wh.). There is a significant production of "Vin muté," using grape alcohol (mistelle), which is useful for reducing shipment costs and subsequent processes.


Due to the presence of phylloxera in the plantations, grafted rootlings are used, on the contrary to nearby Chile, where the strict plant-health controls and the physical barrier of the Andes have protected from and prevented the presence of the aphid.

Viticulture in Chile (table 2.16.b Chile wine grape varieties) is developing thanks to the large wineries. The northern areas of the Santiago Valley specialized in table grape production, mainly for export to North America due to the different seasons (season reversal). There is also significant production of Pisco (brandy).


Viticulture dedicated to wine grapes is in the regions to the south of the capital Santiago, with extensive vineyards for fine wines.
On the other hand, the family plots of land are cultivated with the País (bl.) variety present in the regions further south: Maule, Itata, and Bio Bio-Malleco.

To drive the winemaking sector are a few large companies strongly capitalized and “market-oriented”, competitive and integrated into the international market.

The viticulture in Brazil (table 2.16.c Brazil wine grape varieties) is concentrated in the Sierra Gaucha. It is an area, in the south of the country, with a strong presence of pioneers from Veneto and Trentino; it is a subtropical zone where there are many vine diseases. These are why hybrids or native American varieties have been used, as they are resistant to downy and powdery mildew, as shown in the table. The same varieties are used for fresh consumption and the production of concentrated musts for the agro-industry.


The recent development of tropical viticulture in the Saõ Francisco area for the production of table grapes is interesting. This area suffers from well-known problems of varieties acclimatizing to the tropics, and it needs special farming techniques done to the latitudes that do not allow natural vegetative rest.

Following the creation of Mercosur, Brazilian viticulture is in hard competition with nearby Argentina.

Peru (table 2.16.d Perú wine grape varieties) boasts the first viticulture settlements in the Americas and protects Pisco as a national product. Its viticulture remains, though, sporadic and limited to internal consumption.

There is a small number of vineyards for table grapes.

In nearby Bolivia, which we do not have statistical data on viticulture for, the Tarija area competes with Peru for the ancient viticulture settlements, also here dedicated to internal consumption.

According to the data in our possession, viticulture in Uruguay (table 4.16.e Uruguay wine grape varieties) is decreasing and centered on the variety of French origin, Tannat (bl.), adopted as their own and the base for the typicity of their wine.
Table grapes are only limited cultivation.



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