Collaborative practice in the Latin American wine industry was the focus of an international visit to Argentina and Chile by academics from the project in December 2019. Dr Vasco Sanchez Rodrigues, the Co-Growth project lead, and Dr Juan Rendon Sanchez, presented research findings and best practices in collaboration to industry bodies, vineyards and universities across the Latin American regions.
Dr Sanchez Rodrigues and Dr Rendon Sanchez met with faculty from the University of Cuyo (Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, UNCuyo) in Mendoza, the University for Development (Universidad de Desarrollo) and Diego Portales University in Chile to discuss joint research proposals and to understand the research that’s already being done in their wine sectors.
The vision for the joint research is to apply the principles of the Co-Growth project to the local winemaking industry, with the focus on micro-vineyards.
Dr Rendon Sanchez was also able to link his modelling work on the Co-Growth project to work that members from CEAL had published on the modelling of horizontal collaboration in the wine industry. These learnings can also be applied to the modelling of collaboration areas with the Welsh drinks sector.
The aim of the visit was also to gain a greater understanding of the collaboration practices adopted in Chile and Argentina and the measures they are taking towards becoming more sustainable in their supply chains, whilst facing the realities of climate change. These realities were sadly unmissable during the visit, with the Mapocho river which runs through Santiago in Chile almost dry.
They met with senior managers from Wines of Chile, the San Pedro and Vina Requingua vineyards of Chile, and the Peñaflor Group and Trivento vineyard owned by the Concha y Toro Group in Mendoza. Existing collaborations amongst those producers and industry bodies were discussed and they learnt first-hand about the opportunities they have, as well as the challenges they face.
The visit served as an opportunity to present the concept and learnings of the Co-Growth project to Universities and industries in Latin America. Dr Sanchez Rodrigues explained how the Co-Growth project aims to facilitate co-operation within the drinks sector in Wales through the application of cluster-based research, and how learnings from the project could also be applied to the wine sectors in Latin America.
Dr Sanchez Rodrigues has started the development of research proposals on the standardisation of sustainability practices across vineyards in Chile and Mendoza and the logistical implication of scarcity of water with Dr Mauricio Varas from Universidad de Desarrollo in Chile, Dr Franco Basso Solt from Universidad Diego Portales, and the formation of a cluster among micro vineyards with Prof Kike Forradellas and Dr Ricardo R. Palma from the Universidad de Cuyo in Mendoza.
To see photographs of the visit click here.