From the beaches of the Atlantic coast to the dizzyingly high Andean altiplano, by way of regions as diverse as the Pampas and Patagonia, Argentina folds in an incredible variety of landscapes along its 2,295 mile length. Think of the difference in habitats that are home, variously, to condors, cattle or penguins, and this gives a vivid idea of how the mix of terrain, climate and altitude changes as you travel about the eighth largest country in the world.
Tag: Argentina Wine Regions
Discover the different wine regions in Argentina, the fifth wine production country in the world. Wine production started five centuries ago in Argentina, where wine is considered the national drink. The Spanish were the first that grew vines in the large and varied Argentine terroirs. Thus, the main grape varieties used in Argentine wines are foreign, such as the Malbec or the Cabernet Sauvignon, both native to France. The main Argentine wine regions are Salta and the Norte, Mendoza, San Juan and Patagonia. In the Norte and Salta regions, vineyards spread throughout the Valles Calchaquíes and are characterised by their high altitudes, since they are on the edge of the Andes mountain range. The main production hub is Cafayate, although Catamarca and Tucumán are also relevant. Here, Torrontés variety is grown for producing a sweet refreshing white wine. Going down south, Cuyo region and the province of Mendoza are located. Mendoza is the most important wine producing area in the country with 60% of the national wine production –and it is also one of the most important regions in the world when it comes to exports. Bodega Argento is located there. Within Mendoza, the main subregions are the Uco Valley, Luján de Cuyo, Agrelo and San Rafael. The vines grown in this area, at the foot of the Andes mountain range, are assorted. However, for red wines, the most important ones are Malbec, Bonarda, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah and, for white wines, the most important ones are Torrontés, Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. The second most important wine producer in Argentina is San Juan, to the north of Mendoza, where Syrah is the main stock variety. Tulum, Zonda and Ullum valleys stand out in the area. The fourth big wine region in Argentina is Patagonia, to the south of the country, with big plains and less altitude than the rest of the country. Here the production is focused on Rio Negro and Rio Colorado valleys. The most popular wine varieties are Pinot Noir, Sémillon and Malbec. Discover, by the hand of the collaborators of Bodega Argento’s blog, the features of the different Argentine wine regions, the main wineries, the best routes to tour them and the curiosities about wine production in each of them. And meet some of the best sommeliers in Argentina and the world.
Photo Tour of Mendoza Vineyards During Harvest 2013
In Mendoza, the grape harvest can start any time from the end of January and continue until mid-May, depending upon the varietal and wine a bodega intends to make. Many wineries used to be located in the city of Mendoza, but over the years they have dispersed in a bid to find new terroir, a move that has seen many wind their way south. I’ve travelled to the province three times since February and have compiled this collage of 2013’s harvest across some of the different vineyard areas of Mendoza.
Argentina Wine Regions: San Juan
As the second biggest wine region in Argentina, San Juan is the source of one in five bottles of Argentine wine and has around 50,000 hectares (120,000 acres) of vineyards. The first plantings were made by the Spanish soon after the city of San Juan de la Frontera was founded in 1562, and probably a few decades before vines spread further south. Its longest surviving winery…
Putting the Magic in Malbec – the Art of Microclimatic Blending
Fresh from a recent trip to Mendoza, Andrew Catchpole looks at the innovative Argentine art of microclimatic blending. An amusing and revealing tweet recently did the rounds from a satirical would-be-sommelier tweeter. Hashtagged #LessonsInService, the twittersphere was advised: “When writing wine descriptions on a menu: You can write “crisp, crispy or Malbec” on anything and it will sell.”…
Cabernet Sauvignon – Argentina’s Next Big Red
There’s a serious rival for Malbec’s quality crown in the shape of Cabernet Sauvignon. This scion of the great vineyards of Bordeaux has proved a happy émigré to Mendoza and elsewhere in Argentina. And, like Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon has taken to the high altitudes, ample sun and rocky soils with gusto, producing similarly aromatic and generous wines, packed with ample fruit and spicy notes, well-structured yet drinking well when relatively young.
Mendoza – The Napa of the South
Mendoza has been described as ‘the Napa of the South’ and it’s easy to understand why such parallels are drawn. With both sitting at 33 degrees of latitude there’s a neat symmetry at work for anyone with a smidgeon of interest in how the world’s great vineyards lie. Add to this the regional eminence of both Napa Valley and Mendoza, each celebrated as the most famous quality wine producer in their respective American hemispheres, and such comparisons seem almost inevitable.
Why Chileans are Investing in Argentinian Vineyards
While Chileans are investing in the Argentinian wine industry, there is a strange lack of investment the other way around. Andrew Catchpole investigates.
A Great Wine Grape Returns: Chardonnay From Argentina
Chardonnay, the noble grape that reaches such sublime heights in Burgundy, famously fell from grace through a mix of over-exposure (think Bridgett Jones and Footballers Wives) and overblown wannabes from the New World. But good old Chardonnay is poised to make a welcome return. Except this time it’s typically leaner and cleaner, cut from a finer cloth that is more in tune with the subtle sophistication of our palates today.
Mendoza on Two Wheels: Bike Tours in Argentina
If, like ours, your legs are restless and your head a little fuzzy after a couple of days touring Uco Valley and Lujan in the car, nothing blasts the cobwebs away like a day in the saddle. And it’s a great taster of what the region has to offer for budget travellers. Read on for our top tips.
Olive Oil Tasting in Argentina: Top Tips for Beginners
“You expect me to drink that?”
Let’s face it, that’s what we are all thinking when attend our first-ever olive oil tasting and a small vial of grassy-gold liquid sits before us. We are virgins in olive oil tasting. Or extra virgins, you could say. We’ve all done more than our fair share of wine tasting during our stay in Mendoza, but there is something weird about being expected to drink – or, OK, sip – an oil. And yet why don’t we pay more attention to the olive oil we consume?