The Argentine wine industry is fast becoming one of the largest contenders in the global wine industry. In fact, it is now the fifth largest producer of wine in the world, and the Argentine government has recently even declared wine its national liquor. Argentina has an abundance of the natural elements in place for perfect wine producing conditions. Its high altitudes, generous sunshine, large temperature differential, limited pests and disease, low rainfall, controlled irrigation, geographic location from the ocean, and pure, alluvial soil create a perfect environment that is unparalleled elsewhere. The sizable spans of Argentina’s vineyards are located along the country’s western border. They extend for over 2,000 kilometres, from the Cafayate Valley, high up in Salta, in the north, through Mendoza, in the center, right down to the lower-level and down to the protected Rio Negro Valley, to the south east, in Patagonia.
Northwest Region – Catamara & Salta
The vineyards of the northwestern provinces of Catamarca, Jujuy and Salta are located between the 24th parallel and 26th parallel south and include some of the highest elevated vineyards in the world with many vineyards planted more than 4,900 feet (1,500 meters) above sea level. The soils and climate of the regions are very similar to Mendoza but the unique mesoclimate and high elevation of the vineyards typically produces grapes with higher levels of total acidity which contribute to the wines balance and depth. Of the three regions, Catamarca is the most widely planted with more than 5,800 acres (2,300 hectares) under vine as of 2003. In recent years the Salta region, and particularly its sub-region of Cafayate, have been gaining the most worldwide attention the quality of its full bodied whites made from Torrontés Riojano as well as its fruity reds made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Tannat.
Central Region – Mendoza, San Juan & La Rioja
The most notable wine regions of Argentina are Mendoza, where nearly all the major wineries are concentrated. With its continental climate favoring grape growing, the Mendoza region is responsible for producing over 80% of total wine production in Argentina. Spend a few terrific days and nights in Mendoza, savouring, sipping, walking and biking this region where the majority of Argentina’s wines are produced, including Argentina’s signature wine, the rich, deep-garnet malbec.
The San Juan and La Rioja regions are long-standing regions that continue to produce a wealth of wine created from simple grapes for local consumption. Though a relatively small region, with only 20,000 acres (8,000 hectares) planted as of 2003, the region is known for aromatic Moscatel de Alexandrias and Torrontés made from a local sub-variety known as Torrontés Riojano. Lack of water however has curtailed much vineyard expansion in his area.
Southern Region – Río Negro, Neuquén & Patagonia
Southern Patagonia region includes the fruit producing regions of Río Negro and Neuquén which has a considerably cooler climate than the major regions to the north. The Rio Negro region lies at the southern end of wine production. It is known by many as an upcoming wine region, not only for cool-climate varietals like Chardonnay and Pinot noir but as well as Malbec, Semillon and Torrontés Riojano. Many of the grapes for the Argentine sparkling wine industry are sourced from this area.
Wine Tasting with Lvstudio
Warm weather arrives and wonder: What is your favourite Argentine wine for this summer? Here at Lvstudio we are also passionate about our wines! Join us every 3rd Thursday of the month for a wine Spanish vocabulary class followed by a visit to a favourite wine tasting venue of ours for a tasting experience through Spanish. Learn the provenance of your favourite wines and where to buy them at the best prices. All Spanish levels welcome – please contact us for further information or to RSVP attendance: firstname.lastname@example.org