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Grape Minds

From the statue of Christ at Tupungato one can look out over the vast floodplains of the Valle De Uco. The Andes mountains rise imposingly to the the west and laid out below are rows of poplar and cypress trees, protecting acre after acre of vineyards.

The region is becoming known as the 'El Dorado' of Argentinean wine production. Unlike most desert locations, which have the steady sunshine but not the water supply to make cultivation viable here, meltwater from the snow capped peaks of the Andes has been harnessed and channelled for irrigation. Add altitude and low humidity, and you have the perfect conditions for winemaking.

With a global rise in conscious consumerism, the modern wine buyer is increasingly reaching for bottles made with grapes grown organically, without pesticides and chemicals, and harvested in harmony with natural cycles, the biodynamic way.

In the UK, sales of these wines went up 22% in 2017, compared with less than 3% growth in non-organic wines for the same period. These styles also make up 12% of the total wine consumed in Sweden, while in the US, despite still representing a niche market with around 2%, sales of natural wines are going up about 15% year-on-year.

In the Mendoza region, in western Argentina, local producers are leading the way in making these more environmentally conscious wines. From the tiny bodega
run by a bohemian couple to the young winemaker in charge of 72 hectares of organic vineyards at one of the regions largest fincas. Ben Roberts travelled around Mendoza, meet the people behind the organic revolution.

A full text by Sarah Warwick is available on request.
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