Zonda Winds

June 23, 2023 by
Maytte Rivera

The Zonda winds are dry, warm winds that affect the western parts of Argentina, specifically the wine regions nestled in the slopes of the Andes like Mendoza, San Juan and La Rioja. Local tribes call it Huayrapuca, or the “witches’ wind”, because when it roars the sun appears brown, farms get destroyed, and people complain of feeling anxious and depressed. It usually appears during spring and summer when humid air moves from the Pacific Ocean up the Chilean side of the Andes, building much-needed snow on the mountain tops. This snow will eventually melt and provide water to feed the vines. When this air descends to the Argentinian side of the mountain, it can blow at around 25 to 120 miles per hour for more than 12 hours, increasing temperatures by more than 50F, breaking vines and damaging flowers and grape bunches. The Zonda winds are usually followed by a cold front, which threatens the vineyards with devastating frosts. However, when the winds are moderate, they can help prevent plagues and fight fungal diseases.

Malbec is king in this arid, Zonda-affected regions of Argentina, especially Mendoza. Grab a bottle of Navarro Correas, Pulenta, or Altos Las Hormigas and enjoy it with grilled meats on your next BBQ.  Cheers!

Author: Maytte Rivera

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