The Daily Mail has reported that a million acre site ripe for transforming into a vineyard has come on to the market: “The 989,000 acre plot is the biggest ever to come up for sale in the world, and is the same size as Kent and is three-and-a-half times the size of Hong Kong. Named the Estancia Punta del Agua – the Estate of the Tip of the Water – it is situated in the San Juan province in western Argentina and close to the border of Chile”
Apparently prospective buyers from around the world – including Britain – have expressed a keen interest in it due to its wine-growing potential. The asking is price is £6 million – that’s £6 an acre. It is estimated that 60 per cent of the land could be turned to agriculture – and is a prime site for lucrative vineyards.
Estancia Punta del Agua is located in the Caucete and Jachal departments of San Juan Province, in an Andean valley known as Valle del Rio Bermejo – a river valley fed by Rio Bermejo and the Rio Huaco. It includes mountains as well as fertile valleys and it is thought that sugar beet, alfalfa, olives, vines and sunflowers could all be grown there successfully. The site’s rivers aid irrigation, and it will soon be linked up to the local electricity network. There is a road being built through it which will connect it to the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans as well as giving access to Chilean and Brazilian ports . . . and that opens up the whole Chinese and Asian markets.
Ken Jones, from estate agents Savills, said: “This is probably the largest ring fenced freehold block of land to be offered for sale in the open market ever. It hasn’t been farmed for about 25 years because there was a rural depopulation when things started to get tough. There used to be a school with 300 pupils and who ever bought it could build homes suitable for staff, but there are some restrictions. It does need electricity and until it is connected that would have to come from a generator.”
This story has got me wondering what the largest vineyard in the world is? According to the Wine Institute figures for 2009 show that Spain has the largest vineyard acreage (2,724,200 acres), followed by France (1,966, 510 acres) and Italy (1,712,607 acres). Argentina has 560,000 acres under vine so if Estancia Punta del Agua was planted as a vineyard this would increase Argentina’s wine production dramatically.
The Languedoc is often quoted as being the largest vineyard area in the world with around 700,000 acres under vine. However the largest vineyards seem to be in Italy, China, Spain, Chile and the USA.
Caviro in Italy is a group of cooperative producers with 36 partner wineries and over 18,000 wine growers working approx 96,371 acres of vineyards.
Bayan Nur City in northern China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region announced plans to create a vineyard in its Ulan Buh Desert. According to the municipal desert control authority, the project will cover a total area of 65, 895 acres.
Bodegas Virgen de las Viñas in Spain is a cooperative with 2,500 members growing vines on more than 56,834 acres.
If anyone knows of any other large vineyards please let me know!