Argentina harvest 2024: Another unusual year, but excellent quality

Thursday, 16 May, 2024
Decanter, Alejandro Iglesias
Extreme weather patterns resulted in lower-than-expected yields for the second year in a row. However, quality is high, reminiscent of the extraordinary 2021 vintage.

Following record low yields for the 2023 harvest, there were high hopes for a stable 2024 vintage in Argentina – but nature had other plans. Erratic weather resulted in one of the most unpredictable seasons in recent memory.

The Zonda wind – the hot, dry gale that swoops down from the Andes – took an usual turn from September. Pablo Richardi, winemaker at Flechas de los Andes explains that ‘it wasn’t so much the intensity of the Zonda as its persistence. We had three days of wind when the vines were already vulnerable, with tender buds and leaves. The wind reduced the canopy and dried out plant tissues, making them less productive’.

The weather was cool and dry until mid-January when a heat wave saw temperatures hit 40 degrees, hastening ripening in vineyards all around the country. In some places the heat was so intense that vines shut down.

Low yields, but not as low as 2023

Vines were already fragile going into this tricky season, courtesy of the late spring frosts in the preceding vintage. ‘The 2024 harvest produced more fruit than last year, but it was still 15% below average,’ said Germán Di Césare, chief winemaker at Bodega Trivento.

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