In an interview with the prestigious specialized wine magazine, “The Drinks Business,” the winemaker and technical director for Concha y Toro, Marcelo Papa, referred to the impact of drought and climate change in the wine industry in Chile.
“Every country is facing this climate phenomenon in a different way. Some are experiencing a growing spike in temperatures. But here in Chile, the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountains offer a cooling effect to mitigate global warming in the country,” says Papa.
The real problem threatening Chile right now is the precipitation deficit that has persisted for several years. This scenario has led to a significant challenge for wine growers to produce quality wines with reduced water availability. As a result, there is a need to move southward in search of areas with greater water resources.
“During the last 50 years, we have seen increasingly lower rainfall, and here at Concha y Toro we have spent the last 20 years moving south, where it rains more,”, Papa adds.
One example of this is that 20 years ago, Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon, Concha y Toro’s highest selling wine, -with current annual production of 2 million cases- was grown primarily (around 33%) in the Maipo region. However, due to the drought affecting the area, that proportion has now dropped to 10%, and the rest comes from the south of Chile, mostly Maule, where rainfall levels are higher and no irrigation is needed.
For more details on his interview in “The Drinks Business,” click here.