San Juan has achieved its recognition in the domestic market and in the world, thanks to its growth in quality and quantity, resulting in the second national producer. Today, this province stands out with a varietal that has achieved several awards: Syrah. It has achieved its winemaking transformation due to tax referrals for farming.
All this was seen in the last trip carried out by part of the WineSur team, in October. During three days, the team visited wineries and knew about their stories and wines.
One of San Juan’s characteristics is that its vineyards are located in valleys. Among these valleys, Tulum Valley (Pocito, Albardón, Caucete, San Martín and Sarmiento) stands out as the main producer, followed by Zonda, Ullum and Calingasta valleys. One of the promises is Pedernal Valley, which produces mainly Premium grapes, considering its great temperature range and location at more than 1,000 meters above sea level.
Moreover, San Juan’s weather is rather characteristic, since the province has 300 sunny days, relatively low humidity, wide temperature range, few rains, among other goodness for vine growing, resulting in excellent quality grapes.
Until the end of the 2010 harvest, San Juan has registered 263 wineries and factories, as well as 159 producing wineries.
San Juan has a total of 5,524 vineyards, which represents 49.5 thousand hectares, standing for 21.65% (relative share of the province in the surface at the end of the 2010 harvest). Most vineyards use trellised vine, which stands for 85% of the surface cultivated with grapes. In this province, 42 thousand hectares use trellis system and 4,924 thousand hectares use high trellis system, among the most outstanding ones.
San Juan’s main varieties
In this province, 64.35% of the high quality varieties are red. The main red variety as regards surface is Syrah, which represents 30.42% and grew 51.34%, compared with 2000. Then, the following important varieties are Bonarda (with increases of 51.27% and 0.49%), Cabernet Sauvignon (with an increase of 37.52% and a decrease of 2.88%) and Malbec (with increases of 87.65% and 3.13%). These varieties stand for 87.78% of the total high quality red varieties.
The surface with high quality white varieties decreased. Among the most important ones, Muscat of Alexandria and Pedro Giménez stand out, followed by Torrontés Sanjuanino, Torrontés Riojano and Chardonnay, among others of lower proportion. Besides, 90.98% of rose grapes are Cereza.
San Juan has improved not only its quality but also its upward trend as regards the surface cultivated with varieties for fresh consumption and raisins, which stand for 18.76% and 5.13% of the cultivated surface. Among these varieties, the outstanding ones are Superior Seedless, Flame Seedless, Red Globe, Sultanina Blanca and Arizul.
In the year 2009, 46.29% of the winemaking varieties are high quality varieties, with an increase of 30.36%, compared with 2000, and a decrease of 0.33%, compared with the previous year.
In the period January-September 2010, Argentina sold 7.03 million hectoliters to the domestic market. In the case of San Juan, considering the total production, 1.26 million hectoliters were sold in the domestic market, between January and September 2010, while in the same period last year, the total purchase was 1.31 million hectoliters, decreasing 3.13%.
Moreover, as regards the 150 thousand hectoliters for domestic consumption in September 2010, 9.09 thousand were sold in demijohn, 50.20 in bottle, 91.26 in tetra brick and 3.69 thousand in bag in box.
In the case of the foreign market, during 2009, San Juan exported 496,272.65 hectoliters, which stood for 33,245.20 dollars, considering wine in bulk and bottled wine (bottle, demijohn, sachet and tetra brick). As regards numbers, exports amounted to 11,986.07 dollars in wine in bulk and 21,259.13 in bottled wine.