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How Argentine wine answers Generation Z’s needs

Generation Z are investigative consumers who want to be captivated by flavour and authenticity, all while valuing people and the planet. Here’s how Argentine wine answers their needs.

If there was ever a demographic that was more tuned in to what Argentine wine has to offer, it’s Generation Z. Known for their conscientious relationship with drink, with their preferences being based on lifestyle choices and values as much as brand identities speaking to them. How do you make Gen Z consumers lean in? You listen to them.

Speaking to db, Lorena Mulet, the winemaker at Bodega Cruzat, describes the draw that Gen Z presents, but points out that they want to know everything about the brands they love, but when they find something they do like, they’re very loyal. Mullet explains: “Generation Z are very curious individuals who research, read, and investigate. They are increasingly committed.”

What are they looking for from a wine? What attracts them? To begin, the design and brand identity has to appeal, but also the price point too.

Lis Clément, director at Clément Winery and Vineyards admits Gen Z are attracted to wines that have a captivating brand identity and says this can mean anything from “striking labels and vibrant branding” right through to “packaging that stands out in social gatherings and also makes a stunning gift”.

Essentially, having an identity that is its own is fundamental. But Clément advises that people need to “find a perfect balance in pricing to make it accessible to Gen Z wine enthusiasts without compromising quality” and hints that “the sweet spot price for Gen Z wine enthusiasts is around US$12-15”.

Another element that attracts Gen Z is the way that Argentine wine illustrates authenticity in spades. Showcasing either family-owned businesses or wineries founded by women or with a hefty dose of local appeal.

Clément emphasises how Argentine wine hits a lot of Gen Z trends head on because so many uphold provenance, equality and put people and communities at the forefront of everything. As Clément observes, essentially, “a good, well-written, authentic backstory [which] enhances the wine’s appeal, especially for local Gen Z buyers who gravitate towards family-owned, women-owned, or locally produced wines.”

Primarily, the key thing Argentine winemakers have been good at is listening to others and continuing to learn and drive things forwards. It is that kind of resilience and motivation that has brought it so far already and crafted it to become the progressive market it is known for being.

Mulet muses on the fact that Cruzat is always looking at ways to move things forwards and says that showing innovations are key “because the wine market demands that we are always on the move, not only with new products but also by seeking new consumers” and admits “often, we reach them [Gen Z] with distinctive and innovative products” but adds that Argentine winemakers have managed to reach them “above all, by listening to them”.

So many Argentine wines offer a sense of discovery that Gen Z is craving. Plus, its viticulture offers huge diversity of flavour thanks to climate, altitude and the sheer varieties of grapes available. Clément reminds that Argentine wine can offer such “distinctive grape varieties” because “Gen Z consumers are adventurous and eager to explore new flavours” and so “by showcasing unknown grape varieties, a wine could be able to set itself apart on store shelves and tell a compelling story of a more diverse wine culture beyond the ubiquitous classics” tapping into a thirst for experience and adventure.

Additionally, caring for the people and the planet is high on the list for Gen Z too. Something that it shares with winemakers across Argentina, each of them playing a role in progressive winemaking that considers nature in symbiosis with their craft.

Daniela Mezzatesta, sustainability and vineyards manager at Terrazas de los Andes explains that “for Terrazas de los Andes, our community is at the core of what we do, since making wines for us integrally involves taking care of our people, our communities, mitigating our climate impact and regenerating our soils”.

Andrés Biscaisaque who is the winemaker at Los Dragones agrees and describes how emphasising how closely the wineries work with nature can be the first step. Biscaisaque explains: “It makes a big difference to work in an agroecological way, without herbicides, seeking biodiversity with biological corridors and ecosystemic services that enrich the environment” and notes that if more people knew about this, it could go a long way.

Lucas Niven winemaker at Niven Wines points out that amplifying the elements that appeal to Gen Z can be seen by Argentine winemakers who are already signalling their methods and intentions. For instance, as Niven highlights: “Niven Wines has its Criolla Argentina brand” and the “label features a vine woman” so, he hints that subconsciously, “this illustration shows the consumer that it is an earth-friendly wine”.

Also Niven explains how in addition to indicating on the back label that Niven has few extra signifiers to its sustainability credentials such as “a centenary vineyard, native criolla grapes, it uses agro-ecological management at the vineyard, as well as non-use of fining agents of animal origin and no filtration” plus, Niven makes “wine without added sulfites or wine without sulfites and natural yeasts” and through all of these avenues it is drawing in Gen Z who cares so deeply about the planet and exciting natural flavour.

The fact that the next generation are so enraptured with the betterment of the planet is an admirable trait and one that will hopefully seed out beyond theirs alone and onto the each generation that follows.

Over at Terrazas de los Andes, the sheer level of understanding Mezzatesta brings to this topic alone – the importance of sustainability – is at an awe-inspiring level.

Mezzatesta says that the journey the winery has been on “has led us to the Regenerative Organic Certification, diminishing the weight of our bottles, planning on the integration of green energies, among others” and shows how, with determination, there is much that can be achieved.

According to others, a straightforward way to communicate eco values to the Gen Z audience is via lightweight packaging, Biscaisaque reveals: “We use eco-line, lightweight bottles and high-quality stoppers that protect the wine for long storage and also are recyclable and have 0 carbon footprint,” explaining that “the fact that the bottle is light and small means fewer kilos in freight, reducing emissions and associated costs”.

Similarly, Niven Wines “uses lightweight bottles” and mentions that “in a way, the Generation Z consumer thinks more about the environment when drinking wine than about the wine” suggesting that Argentina’s viticultural appeal should not be limited to just its diversity of plantings but should also ramp up how conscientious it is when it comes to the environment, organic wines, working with the land.

Mulet says “consumers understand that every organic product has a positive impact on the soil, water, biodiversity, and also on what we ingest” and adds that “it is everyone’s responsibility to leave a better world for our children and to teach them the commitment to environmental care” and this is something that Gen Z really understands.

Clément echoes this and believes that “in a market teeming with options, Gen Z consumers prioritise wines that are organic and sustainable” noting how “their demand also leads to the growing trend for low-intervention and natural wines” and this is why Argentine wines answer so many of their needs so perfectly. Plus, says Biscaisaque, “their values regarding sustainability and ecological awareness were, from the beginning, something important”.

But what is it they love the most? The verve that Argentine wine represents – of passion, positivity and all of the admirable values that go hand-in-hand with how its wine sector represents itself. Should Gen Zers want to reflect who they are and what they believe in, they don’t need to look far for inspiration.

As Mezzatesta remarks: “Making wine in Argentina is also a vivid example of working with passion and love for our land. Although the economic situation is constantly swaying, people are resilient and hopeful.”

It is that genuine interest in continually pushing for change, looking forwards and staying strong that is so appealing.

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