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Headline Hero: Martin Kaiser, Doña Paula

Published:  01 April, 2021

Martin Kaiser, director of viticulture and winemaking, Doña Paula

You work for a company that owns vineyards on both sides of the Andes. In your experience, is there much sharing of ideas and expertise between Chilean and Argentinian winemakers?

Santa Rita Estates have a technical committee made up of viticulturists and oenologists from their vineyards in both Chile and Argentina. They meet up fortnightly to exchange ideas and information, discuss technical issues and share experiences. A project exploring the benefit of cover crops in vineyards to lower the quantity of chemical inputs in Argentina was recently launched, with several wineries across the two countries participating and sharing their findings and conclusions. We believe that working alongside each other is in the interest of the industry and something from which we can all benefit.

What do you see as the biggest opportunity for 
Argentinian wine over the next five years, and the 
biggest threat/challenge?

Argentina is still learning – be it about new varieties, emerging regions or winemaking techniques. All of this will broaden our wine offering in the future. Patagonia is an interesting region; it is best suited to Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Merlot, but we are finding that Malbec also adapts well to a cold climate. However, one of the biggest threats worldwide is the growing market for bulk wine. As the demand for private labels from big internationals continues to escalate, so the very essence of individual brands and winemaking styles are compromised.