FOCUS SOUTH AMERICA

A tour of the major wine markets rosés

Chile has 145,000 hectares of vineyards planted from parallel 27 to parallel 40 of South latitude. 70% of its production is located in the Maule Valley, Curicó and Colchagua Valley (from 250 km south of Santiago) and 89% of its vineyards are grown under irrigation.

The 2021 season presented with higher rainfall than in 2020 at the time of veraison and with frosts during August to October that mainly affected varieties such as Chardonnay and Pinot noire, intended  sparkling base wines production.

It was a year of moderate maximum temperatures, lower than the annual average in all regions, with cold and cloudy days that were reflected in a very slow maturation, also presenting some foci of Botritys and necrosis of clusters due to nutritional disorder, and attacks of moth of the vine (Lobesia botrana) with greater affectations than the previous years.

Despite these climatological and phytosanitary aspects, production was greater than that of the previous year by approximately 15%, reaching its average level in recent years.In general, the quality was good, with a good acidity balance and a lower alcohol content due to slow maturation. This also caused a better quality of tannins in red wines.

The white varieties, mainly Sauvignon blanc, were the most affected by excessive rainfall at the beginning of the harvest.

Regarding reds, with Cabernet Sauvignon, which represents 30% of the grape production in Chile, very balanced wines were obtained, with good varietal typicity and great storage capacity. With Carmenere, the flagship variety that represents 10% of the production, it matured 30 days after the average date and wines of great concentration, color and structured tannins were also obtained.

In general, even considering the complications during the harvest due to the rains, it was possible to make fresh wines with varietal typicity.

The wines from the southern part of the country stand out, where there is rainfed viticulture and there is a great development of non-traditional varieties such as Cinsault, Carignan, Moscateles and País grape, which are beginning to increase their presence in international markets.

Argentina has 215,000 Ha of vineyards distributed over an area of ​​3,500 km from North to South and from the Andes Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean.

During 2021, 22 M qq were harvested and 16.4 M Hl of wine and 4.13 M Hl of must or grape juice were produced in its 863 registered wineries throughout the country.

The main producing province is Mendoza (Center West of the country), which represents 75% to 80% of the total national production.The main varieties of white grapes grown are Torrontés, Pedro Ximénez and Chardonnay and red Bonarda, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec as the flagship variety, among others.

The 2021 viticultural production was characterized by a dry winter with abundant snowfalls and a fresh spring, with higher rainfall than usual that made the vegetative cycle lengthen, with a harvest between the months of February to April, without phytosanitary problems.

The climatic characteristics during the veraison to the ripening of the grapes contributed to a very healthy harvest with fresh, expressive wines and a good concentration of color, a high level of total polyphenols and a very good structure. White wines with good aromatic intensity and varietal typicality. The average alcohol of the wines of the year was 12.7 ° GL.

There is a growing tendency to obtain wines with great fruit expressiveness and less or no intervention with wood. The production and consumption of rosé wines also increases every year.

Brazil has two important wine-growing areas: the traditional Sierra Gaucha, in the South of the State of Rio Grande do Sul, which represents 90% of the production of grapes, and Petrolinas, in the Northeast of Brazil, where up to two and a half harvests are reached. grape per year.

Brazilian viticulture is highly variable depending on the climate and rainfall regime, which reaches 2000 mm per year, so in years with moderate rains like the current one, it is possible to reach 102 Mkg of wine grapes and about 403 MKg of grapes hybrids, of which 100 to 200 MKg are also destined for the production of wines.

The presence of pathogens such as Botritys and Oidium are normal in the region, so regular cures should be practiced.

The 2021 production was characterized by having had little rains during the flowering season (between September and November, depending on the area and height), which resulted in juices of good health and higher oenological quality.

As a result of the pandemic, the harvest window was shortened, which produced a congestion in the wineries, needing to receive a greater quantity of grapes in less time. However, a dry winter and spring and a hot summer, allowed to obtain average alcohols between 10.7 and 11 ° GL, in varieties such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, fundamentally for one of the main distinctive products of Brazil, which are its sparkling wines.

The wines obtained in the season are characterized by their citrus and floral aromas, with fruity notes and large volume, making the 2021 vintage a great vintage in terms of quantity and quality obtained.

In Uruguay, there was a season with rainfall within the annual average, which allowed for a low incidence of pests until the beginning of the 2021 harvest. As of January, rainfall increased and some outbreaks of Botritys and acid rot of the cluster appeared, but the incidence was moderate to low.

From February until the first week of April, grapes could be harvested with good health and generally acceptable quality.Grape production reached 99 MKg and wine production was 74 MLt.

The main varieties cultivated are Tannat (12%), Moscatel de Hamburgo (9.5%), Ugni blanc (9.5%), Merlot and Cabernet, both with 11.5>%, giving rise to 38 MLt of wines red wines, 24 MLt of white wines, 7 MLt of rosé wines and the rest grape juices and other by-products.

The main producing area is in the surroundings of Montevideo, where the low average temperatures of the year (lowest in the last 10 years), allowed obtaining great aromatic quality in varieties such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc and Albariño. The case of red wines, mainly the Tannat variety, produced aromatically very expressive wines, balanced in alcohol and acidity.

Peru has its wine-growing areas located on the southern coast of the country, from Lima to Tacna, although the department of Ica (360 km south of Lima), owns 70% of the vineyards and wineries of wine and Pisco. The great geographical diversity of the country allows to have vineyards in very varied areas, from deserts proper, to new settlements near the city of Cusco, at more than 2000 meters above sea level.

The grape harvest runs from January, for white varieties, to mid or late April for red and late varieties.

The varieties of grapes grown are divided into Patrimoniales (Criolla, Quebranta, Mollar, Negra Criolla, Moscateles), mainly for the production of wines for the elaboration of Pisco (10 MLt produced in 2020), and Nobles (Malbec, Tannat, Petit Verdot, Tempranillo, among others).

Heritage varieties, traditionally grown with high production and high sugar content, are now being used to make still wines, less alcoholic (20 to 21 ° Bx), giving wines that are widely accepted in the markets and are rapidly expanding.

The production of noble varieties has been increasing year after year, fundamentally the Malbec variety in Ica, where in some places close to 2000 meters above sea level and in the desert, high quality wines are obtained, highlighting the fruit and mineral character.

Bolivia concentrates its main vineyard production in the South West of the country, mainly in the department of Tarija (75%), between 1600 and 2600 meters above sea level.

Currently there are 38 wine producing wineries and 14 Singanis distilleries (wine distillation, Muscat of Alexandria variety).In 2021, 14 MLt of wine and 4 MLt of Singani were produced.

The grape varieties grown are Muscat of Alexandria, Ugni blanc, Riesling and Sauvignon blanc for white wines, and Tannat, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Malbec for reds.

The 2021 season presented a much more abundant rainfall than the annual average (550 to 600 mm), which led to a greater attack of cryptogamic diseases such as Downy mildew and Botritys. However, the wines obtained were classified as normal, mainly Chardonnay and Riesling with outstanding aromatic expressions. In reds, the vintage was described as good.

Map of South America

LATEST YEAST STRAINS

SafŒno™ SH 12 – Strongly reveals thiols in whites and rosés

Our first new wine yeast strain of 2020 is SafŒno™ SH 12, a new addition to our range, designed to reveal thiols in white and rosé wines. Thiols are what give some wines distinctive citrus-tropical fruity and green flavours, like grapefruit, passion fruits and blackcurrant buds or boxtree.

On par with our most recent launches, SafŒno™ SH 12 performs very well in many conditions and respects our Easy-To-Use (E2U™) standard meaning it can be pitched straight into the must without prior rehydration..

Watch SafŒno™ SH 12 introduction video:

For more detailed information about SafŒno™ SH 12:

Visit the product page

SafŒno™ SH 12 is particularly efficient at releasing volatile thiols from precursors present in certain varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc or Colombard, and especially molecules of 4MMP, which give off green and vegetal flavours such as boxtree or blackcurrant buds.

This strain also releases molecules of 3MH (grapefruit notes) and converts them well during fermentation into their acetate ester: 3MHA (passion fruit notes).

SafŒno™ SH 12 maintains high acidity levels, which translates into a fresh and crispy feeling in mouth.

Regarding fermentation performances, SafŒno™ SH 12 is a yeast strain which resists very well to most of whites and rosés’ more difficult fermentation conditions, with regular-fast kinetics in a wide range of temperatures and low nutrient needs overall.

Diego Guzmán, winemaker with a glas of red wine

Diego Guzmán

Luis Felipe Edwards Vineyard

What the users think

With Diego Guzmán, Enologist, in charge of white wines at Luis Felipe Edwards Vineyard, Chile

“It is currently the largest familiar vineyard in Chile, with a 25-million-liter production, ranking among the 5 largest vineyards in the country. The winery exports to more than 60 countries, making it a major global player. In terms of the sensory experience, it showed good aromatic expression, specifically thiolic as expected.I would recommend this yeast, because it shows good aromatic potential.”

Read the full review
Santiago Degásperi, winemaker and Fermentis partner

Santiago Degásperi

Oceania Winery José Ignacio

What the users think

With Santiago Degásperi, Oenologist at José Ignacio – Uruguay

“We work with a technical team advised by the Hans Vinding Diers, an international consultant, and always try to obtain the highest quality and to potentialize the land’s features. The winery is located near the José Ignacio spa, a little over 5 km from the ocean and 30 km from Punta del Este.  We try to capture the ocean’s influence in the wines we make. 

Very even fermentation kinetics were observed, with average nutritional requirements, and a great fruit expression from the beginning of fermentation, as well as great aromatic intensity, something we aim for with Tannat. Sensory wise, we also noticed an interesting smoothness in tannins, a very pleasant texture, which is maintained to this day.”

Read the full review

FERMENTIS CAMPUS

Home of fermentation science

Our Fermentis Campus Teaser #5 is available: check-it out!

Follow the progress of the construction work on our social media with our regular video teasers, available on YouTube, Facebook and Linkedin. You can follow us online via the links at the bottom of this page.

This latest teaser is focused on the actual design of the Fermentis Campus, with a fascinating discussion between our Managing Director Stéphane Meulemans and the architect of the Campus, Thomas Wallon.

The Fermentis Campus will host the Fermentis team with office spaces and facilities for all our employees, but it will also host the Fermentis Academy, the branch of Fermentis dedicated to applied research, education and training.

Fermentis campus

FROSTY FRANCE

France – late frost hurt the vineyards

Fire to combat frost

This year, severe frost spells wreaked havoc on French vineyards and the beginning of April was particularly terrible for the vineyards of southern France (Aude, Hérault, Lot-et-Garonne…).

Unusually high temperatures at the end of March caused the grape buds to come out early. Shortly after, a wave of cold weather, with temperatures reaching -7°C, hit them – killing many of the young grape buds.

In some areas, up to 80% of the vines where hit, and of course, other fruit trees were also affected all over France, prompting the French government to call this episode one of the worst frost event in several decades.

The full extent of the damage was assessed at the end of June, and although new buds did grow, a lot of the wine production and generally fruit production was severely affected.

Scientists believe that this kind of extreme weather event will become more frequent in the context of Global climate change. 

To cope with this plague, winegrowers employed various techniques, including burning fires in the fields to raise the temperature near the earth. This allowed them to gain around one degree, but when the temperatures fell below -5°C, this method was no longer enough.

Another way of protecting the buds, was to vaporise the buds with water. As the tiny water drops freeze, they create a protective cocoon around the bud, keeping it at constant temperature (around 0°C yet higher than the air outside.

In the west of France, in the Nantes vineyards, some Muscadet producers chose to install huge fans facing the ground to bring down the warmer air located 5-10m above the ground. The problem with this technique is that it’s expensive, costing around €30,000 per fan, capable of heating 4 hectares of vines.

In other regions such as Bordeaux, helicopters were sometimes used in similar fashion.

It is hard to evaluate accurately the true effect of these very harsh climatic events earlier in the years. It is a serious concern for all wine producers in France and at Fermentis we will do all we can to help out. Our range of wine yeast strains includes several particularly robust strains, which will ferment in tough conditions.

Robust yeast strains in the SafŒno™ range

Spring frosts not only affect the harvest quantity, but also the quality by causing heterogenous grapes maturity which may lead to unwanted vegetal notes in the wines.

Our SafŒno™ HD A54, SafŒno™ BC S 103 and SafŒno™ CK S102 strains can mitigate these vegetal notes through high production of fruity aromas. Thanks to their robustness and a higher concentration of esters, these yeasts will allow you to secure your fermentations and improve the aromatic profile of your wines.

Check out our selection of robust yeast strains

For intensely fruity white and rosé wines

The choice for extreme conditions

The ideal strain for aromatic white and rosé wines

E2U™ – EASY TO USE

A quality seal for your yeast & derivatives 

E2U™ is a groundbreaking step taken by Fermentis in the world of yeasts and yeast derivatives for beverages.

Click here to learn more about E2U™ :

Easy To Use – Fermentis

Juan carlos lo castro with Fermentis

Juan Carlos Lo Castro

Fecovita Argentina

What the users think

With Juan Carlos Lo Castro, Head Oenologist in the Strategic Cooperative Development Unit, Fecovita – Argentina

“Fecovita is one of the main wine groups worldwide. We have more than 5,000 producers integrated in 29 cooperatives that use about 25,000 hectares of vineyards in Mendoza’s most appreciated wine regions generating a sustainable future for thousands of families through genuine investment, technological contribution, continuous improvement of quality and international projection of their projects, alongside emblematic brands.

We came to know this range of products when searching for direct culture yeasts. We analyzed the Fermentis E2U range and found favorable answers to our project. The results provided by winemakers from the different cooperatives are satisfactory. The organoleptic results are favorable and show a continuous path.We are satisfied with the support of the Fermentis team, and believe that the future lies in direct sowing yeast, which is why we recommend this line of yeasts.”

GOODNEWS #07

Read the latest GOODNEWS magazine

Fermentis would like to thank Luis Felipe Edwards Vineyards, Oceania Winery José Ignacio and Fecovita for their kind contributions to this second edition of the GOODNEWS Online