Argentinian Wine

The history of Argentinian wine making is too nuanced and complex to explain here – but the important factor for today’s wine lover to consider is that quality has never been higher. With most of the serious winegrowing focused on the western side of the country in the foothills of (and increasingly further up into) the Andes mountains, the country benefits from certain climatic features which make it a truly unique place to make wine.

The environment for viticulture is quite simply perfect – with high altitudes, intense sunlight and natural meltwater from the Andes to irrigate the vines, there is little to prevent the fully effective growth of vines. However, it order to seek out quality and of course find a true sense of place or ‘character’, winegrowers must do more than simply grow large volumes of ripe fruit; so the leading producers of Argentina look ever upwards to find plots which have the complex soils and variety of aspects. When combined with cooler than average temperatures, wide variations between daytime and night-time temperatures, and yet long, unbroken sunshine hours, the results are wines of great fruit concentration, mineral precision, and incredible, vibrant freshness.

Whilst the leading grape variety is the red Malbec – which is not only the most planted but also produces the most distinctive, high quality red wines of Argentina – Cabernet is increasingly popular and the search for cool climate growing regions has brought Syrah and Pinot Noir into increasing focus. Many white grapes are grown including the signature floral wine from Torrontes – but Chardonnay delivers the highest quality and in the hands of producers such as Catena the potential is significant.

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