Argentina’s Mendoza region is one of the largest wine producers in Latin
America, but — like many wine-producing regions — it faces challenges as the climate changes and water demand increases.

The Mendoza region of Argentina is one the largest wine producers in Latin America, but it faces challenges ahead as the climate changes. Credit: Flickr /Tony Bailey.

Smallholder producers could be particularly hard hit. Though they produce a majority of the region’s wine grapes, they don’t reap the economic benefit of the international growth in wine demand. Smallholders also are increasingly vulnerable in their water supply due to emerging climate conditions.

This brief provides an initial overview of the Mendoza wine production region by examining the literature on production history, economic difficulties of small wine-grape growers, current climate-related challenges, and water-related policies. It confirms the need for robust approaches that inform decision-making about longer-term climate vulnerabilities, about more adaptive water management policies and about preparations for potential economic impacts on the regional economy.