Among those countries that produce so-called “New World” wine, meaning wines produced outside the traditional wine-growing areas of Europe, several are notable for their recent strides as “emerging wine countries” in the international market.
Brazil is now the fifth-leading producer of wines in the Southern Hemisphere, and it is from that country’s most southern regions that wineries, founded for the most part by Italian immigrants more than a hundred years ago, produce fine table wines from such familiar varieties as Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlot. Wines from Brazil are, as yet, found in just a few markets in the U.S. however, wine exports now go out to more than 26 countries. The Brazilian wine industry is utilizing modern technologies and actively pursuing the development of new products for the international market.
Wine producers in China have in some cases partnered with French enterprises to enlist “Old World” expertise. China’s wine industry has experienced double-digit yearly growth rates in the recent past.
India’s booming economy and rising middle class have set the stage for an enhanced appreciation by young professionals in that country for quality wine. The momentum from domestic demand will carry over to the international wine market where it is expected there will be tremendous growth to keep pace with the worldwide popularity of Indian cuisine. India’s geography, with its varying altitudes, provides a range of temperatures conducive to growing grapes. All this, along with a skilled agricultural workforce, bodes well for that country’s future potential as a player in the world market for superior-quality wines.
Mexico is the oldest wine making region in the Americas. Since the advent of free trade in the 1980s there has been a resurgence in the production of quality wines. There is much activity by committed growers to upgrade their facilities and to channel their efforts at producing wines that have an appeal on the international market. The domestic market as well is being fostered by the appearance of “wine bars,” which cater to the locals as well as the tourists – all in the interest of renewing Mexico’s wine making traditions. In 2008 Mexican wines won top places in the “Decanter World Wine Awards,” the “San Francisco International,” “Mundus Vini Deutschland Neustadt,” and the “International Wine and Spirit Competition.”
South Africa, since the end of apartheid, has seen a renewal in its wine making industry in terms of investment and innovation. Exports have risen tremendously between 1995 and 2007. All wines destined for export are taste tested and chemically analyzed by the Wine and Spirit Board in Nievoorbij, which appends its official seal confirming the origin, vintage and grape variety stated on the label.
The total wine product from these countries is a small percentage of current world production, yet they are emerging producers and innovators, each with a determination to achieve recognition and prestige on the world stage. It won’t be long before most, or all of them, will be as recognizable for their quality wines as many of their “Old World” counterparts.