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Located in the Mt Lofty Ranges thirty minutes drive from Adelaide, the Adelaide Hills forms a narrow corridor 70 kilometres long and 30 kilometres wide. The undulating topography offers a wide diversity of vineyard sites. The elevation varies from around 400 metres at Macclesfield, to 600 metres at Piccadilly and 700 metres at Mt Lofty. This region is strikingly beautiful with its patchwork of vineyards, forests, beef and dairy farms, apple and pear orchards.
The Adelaide Hills is bordered to the north by the Barossa and Eden Valleys with McLaren Vale to the South. Due to its altitude, the Adelaide Hills is significantly cooler than these more traditional regions - on average 4°C cooler during the day and 8°C at night. The cool, dry summer and autumn ripening conditions produces grapes with ideal fruit composition, in terms of concentration, spectrum of flavour and natural acidity.
Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are particularly well suited to the cool conditions of the region and produce some of Australia's finest examples. Shiraz, Riesling and Pinot Noir are equally impressive, but careful site selection and yield management are essential.
## Most of the information is from the website of the winery Shaw & Smith, based in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia.
Sometimes late is better, Despite some reduce yields and delayed harvests, Argentina's vintners are ecstatic about their 2010 vintage, with some calling the best since 2002. An early November frost reduced yields in some areas of Mendoza, the country's most important growing area. After that the region was treated to a very dry season marked by a heat spike in the middle of January that triggered shut downs in many vines. Ripening resumed after a two-week delay, leading to a late but exceptional harvest.
" The result was the fruit was a very healthy along with an interesting slow sugar accumulation in the last part of the season before harvest ", said Alberto Antonini, winemaker and partner at Altos Las Hormigas and consultant winemaker of several wineries such as Finca & Bodega Carlos Pulenta and Bodega Melipal. " Normally we deal with the opposite: fast sugar growth ahead of a flavour development
But in 2010 most producers reported alcohol levels of 14 percent or less, relatively low for the region, depiste having fin, supple structures and lush fruit flavours. "
Sugars just stayed the same for two weeks, but the phenolic ripeness kept going, so there are no green flavours at all, but alcohols of only 13 or 13.5 ( percent) for us". said Santiago Achaval, of elite producer Achaval-Ferrer.
"Overall yields are down 20 to 25 percent", said Laura Catena of Bodega Catena Zapata and Luca. "But it is hard to complain about the yields when you taste the concentration and richness of the wines in barrel".In Mendoza's souther Uco Valley, growers reported alcohol levels of 0.5 to 1 percent below normal, combined with the fresh acidity and ripe, silky textures. " Tempranillo ripened extremely late and Syrah shows exceptional balance and extreme concentration", said Jose Spisso, Head winemaker for Bodegas y Viñedos O.Fournier.
Further south, in the wind-swep Patagonia region, spring brought several frosts, though none were particular severe.The growing season was windy and cool, further resulting in reduce yields.
"Veraison was two weeks late but the bunches matured at an even pace", said Hans Vinding-Diers of Bodega Noemia de Patagonia, Patagonia's top Malbed producer. " Then autum kicked in whith warm days, so we got superb polyphenols and fresh acidities, but low alcohols. The year worked for all varieties, if you waited in order to get fully ripe fruit.
Chile's 2010 harvest will likely be overshadowed by the massive earthquake that struck on Feb.27, causing extensive damage to the historical heart of the country's wine industry in the Curico and Maule Valleys.
While wineries lost wine, tanks and barrels in the quake, the harvest itself came in several weeks late and yields were down 20 percent or more (depending on location). That helped producers grapple with logistics at a time when the industry's infrastructure was under duress ( the quake struck during what normally have been the early part of harvest).
Following a cold, wet winter and a cool spring, budbreak and veraison were delayed significantly, up to three weeks in some places. And with cool temperatures running through March and April, late-ripening red varieties sucha as Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere struggled to catch up in some areas. Growers were waiting into May ) the equivalent of November in the northern hemisphere) to finish picking, but were optimistic thanks to dry weather.
Chile's more recently developed, cooler viticultural areas such as Casablanca, Leyda, San Antonio and Limari were well-suited to handle the 2010 growing season, as early-ripening cool-climate varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay , Pinot Noir and Syrah excelled.
"Summer didn't start until december and while we've had the usual number of days between flowering and veraison. everything has ben delayed because there hasn't been enough heat" said Adolfo Hurtado, winemaker for Vina Cono Sur, which specializes in cool-climate varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir " I'm really happy with the whites and Pinot Noir. It's going to be a different kind of year, but interesting "
" It's a great year for us", said Agustin Huneeus Jr. of Casablanca Valley's Veramonte " Great acidity and superfresh, elegant wins, with good fruit.
" In contrast, producers in the country's prime Cabernet and Carmenere spots, the Maipo and Rapel valleys, were harder pressed due to the cooler temperatures. Nonetheless , optimism was still the order of the day. " Red wines ( will be) different than other years" said Aurelio Montes de Vina Montes. " Extremely good color and tannins, lower pH and higher acidity adds to less alcohol content. The wines will be in some way leaner, more elegant and well-prepared for bottle aging ".
With the late ripening varieties playing catch-up late in the season, site selection and yields will be critical to achieving quality and balance in the wines.
" For those who didn't overcrop and had healthy vineyards into April and May, this is an outstanding vintage" said Sven Bruchfeld of Agricola Lavina." But those with lots of tonnage are going to have unripe grapes"
"The fact that we had low yields really helped in this cool vintage". said Alexandrea Marnier-Lapostolle owner of Casa Lapostolle, located in the Colchagua Valley. "We harvested two weeks lated than usual but they were ripe"
The smaller 2010 crop could lead to some pressure on prices, however, as many wineries neet to make up shortfalls from the harvest as well as inventories los during the earthquake.
" It's an awkard market now because people are buying wine with insurance money, so it's like they're buying wine for free. With the crop down and people trying to replace stocks lost in the quake, there's definitely some pressure on suppy" said one winery owner who asked not to be identified.
### This article is from winespectator.com
A strong price war can be observed in European supermarkets, and not only in table white wines and friendly reds, but also in wines with denomination of origin such as champagne.
In the United States, the situation is also difficult since the financial crisis. Overall consumers are tending towards consuming cheaper wines than prior to the crisis. In fact, if 2008 is compared with 2009, in the latter year wine sales of expensive bottles in supermarkets didn't pass 50 U.S$ however in 2008 wines of 90U.S$ were a regular purchase. In some restaurant they were even advertizing: “If you drink a wine of less than 50 US$, and you don't like it, we will give you the money back”.
Today, the American and the English comsumer are drinking wine, but with a definite tendency towards drinking cheaper wines. In fact this is a world-wide trend. It is almost certain that Chile will strongly increase the export of cheaper wines, particularly because Chile is already known as a country that produces good wines with attractive prices. If this happens it would be great for the industry because currently the national market is pretty static.
Retailers wanting to sell wines of higher price need to be aware that the consumers expect destinctively better quality in those wines.
This kind of consumer is also looking for more than just quality, they want to know what is behind the label; the history of the wine, who is the winemaker etc. This consumer may also want to be in direct contact with the producer and have knowledge of the distribution.
For these reasons wine tourism, show-rooms, international trade fairs, masterclasses etc are becoming more and more important, because the costumer is becoming more educated about what is out there in the wine world.
The use of the internet, blogs (http://www.wineswithchile.blogspot.com/), forums, social networks, among others, are being used by costumers to help decide on their purchases. From their place of work, home, restaurant or a coffee shop they can choose what to buy 24hr a day. This virtual world of information is changing the industry and making it more competitive. The opinions of mainstream wine “Gurus” are becoming less appreciated as the costumer now wants to make heir own decision from their own broad sources of information.
The world is looking for easy wines to drink. The average customer isn't interested in the ritual of tasting. They just want to enjoy the moment and they don't care if the Syrah has blackberry aromas or jam notes. That is for the technicians not for the common consumer. This partly explains, in my opinion, why Rose wine is becoming more popular - It is so easy to drink. What the average costumer looks for now is an immediate, easy drinking wine rather than a wine with cellaring potential.
The world has also become more enviromentally conscious and the "green" tendency will increase the sales of natural, organic and byodinamic wines, and not only in the young-adult demographic.It will also be important to future generations of wine drinkers.
The countries that are expected to continue growing are: New Zealand with their Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, Argentina with their Malbec, South Africa with Shiraz and without a doubt Chile with the Cabernet and Carmenere. And if we are to be specific about wine regions within Chile, Limari and Maule will be the main ones.
### Most of the information is from the article " Como sera el mundo del vino 2010 " of the magazine Revista del Campo, which was written by Sergio Correa, Winemaker Consultant, Knight of the Order of Agricultural Merit, French Goverment. He's part of the Brotherhood Saint Emilion. Translated and Summarized by DSC.