Underwater aging The new aging wine method

Underwater aging? The new aging wine method

The founder of Bodega Tapiz in Argentina’s Uco Valley, Patricia Ortiz, announced that her Patagonian winery Wapisa would be the first in the country to experiment with underwater ageing.

The Rio Negro based Wapisa, which is part of Fincas Patagonias, decided to place crates of wines at varying depths in the Atlantic Ocean as part of their new ‘coastal terroir’ initiative.

Aided by a biologist and diver, the team submerged 1,500 magnums of their 2017 Malbec-blend in crates at depths between six and 15 metres, 25km away from their vineyards, off the shore of Las Grutas.

The wines remained in place for nine months before being tasted and inspected alongside bottles that had been cellared on land.

‘We seek elegance in our wines’ Ortiz said. ‘We were curious to explore if underwater ageing could actually allow us to have young wines with the benefit of maturity.

‘We tasted the underwater-aged wine and the cellar-aged counterparts blind, the difference was stunning: the former was rounder, more elegant and with fresher fruit,’ she said.

A second lot will be submerged at the end of this month, February 2021, in newly improved cages that will allow seawater to circulate through the bottles. The bottles will then be marketed together for consumers to taste themselves.

Underwater ageing is a growing sector

Underwater wine ageing is a technique being explored by an increasing number of producers around the world.

The first conference on underwater wine was held in 2019, addressing the process and challenges of submerging wine in the sea including concerns about ‘copycat wineries’ giving this growing sector a bad name.

In March 2020, a winery on the Italian island of Elba revived an ancient method of submerging grapes in the sea, once used to make wine fit for Julias Caesar.

Source: The Decanter

Wheat crop plants in drought land during summer season.

Argentina wheat bogged down by weather

Weather issues negatively impacted the expected wheat output of Argentina for the 2020-21 marketing year, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The USDA expects wheat production in Argentina to fall to 17.4 million tons for the 2020-21 marketing year due to dry La Niña weather conditions, which are expected to cause losses for the next few months.

Wheat exports for the 2019-20 marketing are expected to close in November at 13.1 million tons, including flour.

The country’s corn production is projected to slip 48 million tons in the 2020-21 marketing year due to a reduction of planted area and yield. With a smaller corn crop expected, the USDA anticipates a decrease in exports of the commodity to 33 million tons.

Low water levels have taken a toll on rice planted areas in Argentina and in turn total production.  The 2020-21 marketing year rice production outlook decreased by 5% to 1.2 million tons, according to the USDA.

Unlike the other commodities, Argentina’s sorghum production increased 8% as China’s demand for it ramps up. The USDA expects sorghum’s 2020-21 marketing year production to a total of 2.6 million tons. Sorghum’s exports are expected to hit one million tons, the highest since the 2013-14 marketing year.

Previous predictions about the Argentina wheat

In august other predictions were made by the Buenos Aires Grain Exchanges, saying that dryness and unusually strong frosts and crop-eating pests could lower Argentina’s 2020-21 wheat yields by as much as 50%.

This due to areas of the Pampas grains belt was having below-normal rainfall. Planted acreage fell to 6.5 million hectares from 6.8 million as growers were nervous about the dryness.

“Estimates of potential yield losses range between 20% and 50%, in northeastern and northwestern farm areas, and in the province of Cordoba,” the report said and added that affected areas account for more than 25% of this year’s wheat plantings.