What should I know about Argentine wines?

There are seven major wine regions in Argentina.

The country of Argentina is known worldwide for producing interesting and high quality wines. In general, Argentine wines are known for being large, fruity and well-balanced with bright fruity aromas. Most Argentine wines are enjoyed young, which means they do not need to be aged for long periods before reaching their ideal expression. Argentine red wines include Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Tempranillo, Bonarda, Cabernet Franc and Sangiovese. Argentine white wines include Torrontés, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillón, Riesling, Moscatel de Alejandria, Viognier, Gewürtzraminer and Ugni Blanc, a French white grape.

Several white wines are produced in Argentina.

Argentine wines are grown on a long stretch of land that stretches across most of the west side of the country. Pressed against the Andes Mountains, Argentine wineries are privileged with ideal growing conditions. This includes a mild and arid climate, exceptionally high altitudes, irrigation by meltwater from the Andes, and relative isolation from pollution from urban areas. Under such favorable conditions, Argentine vineyards remain relatively free of common diseases and contaminants that often affect wine grapes.

Argentina produces many varieties of red wine.

There are seven major wine regions in Argentina that together cover 221,700 hectares (5,47832.63 acres, 2,217 km2) of land. Mendoza is the largest and best known of them, being considered the most important tasting region for Argentine wines. Mendoza is responsible for producing 80% of Argentina’s wine and has 146,000 hectares (360,773.85 acres, 1460 km2) of vineyards. Mendoza is so big that it is organized into five distinct regions.

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Chardonnay is one of the most popular white wines produced in Argentina.

Northern Mendoza is known for growing a variety of grape varieties. Particularly important white wines in northern Mendoza include varieties such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Ugni Blanc and Torrontés, a grape almost entirely unique to Argentina. The main red wines from northern Mendoza include the Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bonarda and Malbec varieties.

Argentina is known for producing quality wines with fruity aromas.

In eastern Mendoza, all varieties of Argentine wines are grown. However, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Torrontés, Viognier, Sangiovese, Syrah, Tempranillo and Bonarda take center stage. The Mendoza River area near the city of Mendoza is known as a privileged region for Malbec, especially in Luján and Cuyo. Here, small vineyards with mature plants lend themselves well to boutique wineries. The Uco Valley produces excellent Malbec and Semillon, and its wines are known to age well. Finally, in southern Mendoza, the main grape is Chenin Blanc.

In addition to Mendoza, there are six other wine regions where excellent Argentine wines are produced. For example, the San Juan region is known for its Torrontés and Moscatel de Alejandria. Syrah from the San Juan region has gained worldwide recognition. In the sunny region of La Rioja, Torrontés is the most cultivated wine grape, and in Catamarca, the rocky soil is perfect for growing excellent quality varieties, including Torrontés and Malbec.

Salta is another well-known region in the world of Argentine wines. Wine production in Salta dates back to Spanish colonial times. The varied growing conditions that can be found throughout the Salta region lead to a great variety in the characteristics of Salta wines. The Calchaquíes Valleys in Salta, in particular Cafayete, are famous for their top quality wines. As in La Rioja, Torrontés is the most common wine produced in Salta, but Salta is also known for creating full-bodied Malbecs with intense pigmentation and great flavor.

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Neuquén is the smallest of Argentina’s wine regions, covering just 1,000 hectares (2,471.05 acres, 10 square km). Despite being small, the vineyards of Neuquén are dedicated to decoration. Producers here use state-of-the-art technology to ensure the best quality fruit. The conditions here are perfect for creating the fruity, bright and full-bodied wines that are emblematic of Argentine wine production. Adequate acidity and slow, steady development of tannins are easily achieved in this region, which is famous for its Cabernet Franc, Semillón and Pinot Noir.

At the bottom of Argentina’s extensive wine-growing territory is the Rio Negro region. This is the southernmost wine region in Argentina and is located within the Patagonia region. Here, winters are cold and summers are hot and dry. These conditions, along with the southern winds, create a unique minerality in the wines grown here that is not easily achieved elsewhere.

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