wine-growing production ranks fifth in the world. Annually, 1,500 millions liters of wine
are produced, of which 300 millions liters are fine wines.
The internationally known wines from this country have for a long time registered slow
consumption in the country. The Argentinean people are in a position to drink the
local production only recently, as the galloping inflation of the past period did not
facilitate this economical activity. With the return of the stability in the eighties, a
new period has begun.
The plantation of the Argentinean vineyard goes back to
second half of the XVIth century, when Spanish conquistadors brought with them Iberian
grape varieties (the local vine, the criolla is stemming from this origin). The
conquistadors were actively helped by the Franciscans and Jesuits whose missions
were at the base of the great viticulture of today. Now, European grape varieties
make up a large volume of vines;
Red grapes : Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot,
Pinot Noir, Syrah
White grapes : Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Riesling,
Due to the arid climatic conditions, the development of
irrigation systems has been vital to viticulture, practiced within immense Bodegas.
While the viticulture is relatively manual, because of a abundant manpower, the
"vinification" has been considerably modernized. Red wines are a hot type and
strengthened ; white wines are in net progress with less heaviness than formerly.
Mendoza wine-producing area is most important of Argentina. It produces 90% fine
wines likely to be exported. In this region, alone Lujan of Cuyo and San Rafael benefit
from an appelation. This last situated 200 kilometers of the town of Mendoza is more
favorable to the red wine; the best is the Aberdeen
Angus Cabernet from a wine grower Goyenechea. In Lujan de Cuyo,
the altitude of 1000 meters and clayish soils will guarantee sufficiently fresh nocturnal
temperatures for the white wine, as testified by some of the production from Leoncio
Arizu. In 1901 Leoncio Arizu founded a family business producing premium wines
under the name of Luigi Bosca), whose
Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Riesling show a fresh acidity that distinguishes them clearly
from their competitors whose products are often dull and flat. The valley of Tupungato
produces white wines that are among best of Argentina. The wine grower Trapiche was established in
1883 and is the most successful premium wine brand in Argentina. It produces world quality
The other Argentinean wine-producing areas are:
- In the north of Mendoza, in the provinces of San Juan, The Rioja, Catamarca
and Salta produce the best white wine of the country. At an altitude of 1830
meters, its vineyards count among the highest and the most beautiful of the world. The
indigenous grape variety Torrontes gives supple white wines that are very aromatic.They
have already achieved international recognition.
- In the south of Mendoza, in the province of the Rio Negro brisk temperatures allow
the production of white wines. The best producer of the region is Humberto Canale
that elaborates a Sémillon of a delectable vivacity.
The most complete Argentinean wine web site is Vinos de Argentina that offers many
headings (El Vino, Aromas, Caract.de las Variedades, El vino y la comida, Como degustar,
Consejos para comprar, Guardar Vinos en Casas, El vino y la salud, Como elaborar vino,
Glosario, Consultas y Dudas). The second one is Argentina
Wines. It is less complete (Historia, Regiones, Cepages, Vinos, Cata, Bodegas,
Noticias, Tienda) but has the merit to offer two language versions. The English contents
of Argentina Wines are extracted, in part, from the book "Wine Routes of
Argentina" by Alan Young. Both are offering a free newsletter subscription.
André Drobotoff' Around the World
Australia, Black Sea,
Balkans, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, East
Mediterranean, Brazil, Peru, Uruguay, Mexico New Zealand, Romania, Slovakia, South Africa, USA, USA wine regions