A cold winter was followed by a cool spring. Heat spikes in January and February were concerning for quickly accelerating sugars, however, March cooled down significantly allowing for a slow down in ripening and producing balanced wines in the end.  Sparkling wine producers (who do harvest in February) did, however, have to acidify, although the dry and sunny climate allowed them to pick at whatever maturity they chose. “January and February were dry and sunny which allowed the sugar levels to increase quickly,” comments sparkling winemaker at Cruzat, Lorena Mulet. “The weather was in our favour during the harvest; allowing us to fully reach our weekly harvesting targets. This doesn’t happen that often. Some juices did, however, have a higher pH and below average levels of malic acid which meant that we had to intervene [with acidification].”

Uco Valley
Parts of the Uco Valley were affected by a spring frost with some producers losing a significant chunk of their yield. “Although the frost during the spring was not strong, it did affect our yield which is 25% lower than last year,” explains Juanfa Suarez, a grower and winemaker with 60 hectares in Altamira. “The harvest was a little bit later than usual but, in general, it was a fresh and dry year which is ideal for wines that are lower in alcohol with a good level of acidity. 2019 is a great year; the wines are showing a lot of character and freshness.”

Lujan de Cuyo
Despite the heat waves in January and February, a cooler March led to wines of good concentration with balanced acidity and sugar levels. “March was much cooler and the sugar accumulation slowed down and we were able to attain phenolic ripeness,” says Valeria Antolin, winemaker at Piattelli in Lujan de Cuyo. “We were able to wait and pick when we wanted to. The wines have lots of fruit, lots of colour and a medium structure. I think 2019 is the best harvest in the last 5 years.”

San Rafael
A cold winter and lower average temperatures in the summer meant that San Rafael had a slower ripening process and a later harvest than usual. “For the red grapes, the ripening process was generally quite slow,” explained Leo Borsi who makes wines across San Rafael. “There were varying yields this year in red grapes, but the cabernet sauvignon from San Rafael is particularly noteworthy this year, with an interesting characteristic which I have never seen before.” “White wines this year are interesting being their have a much higher level of (malic) acidity and lower sugar content,” he added, commenting that they will have a greater potential for ageing. “In terms of quality, I personally think that it is a great year with wines with a lot of freshness and complexity.”

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