Argentina

Argentine wine, as with many aspects of Argentine cuisine, has its roots in Spain. During the Spanish colonization of the Americas, Juan Cedrón (or Cidrón) brought the first vine cuttings to Santiago del Estero in 1557, and the cultivation of the grape and wine production stretched first to neighbouring regions, and then to other parts of the country.

Argentine winemakers have traditionally been more interested in quantity than quality and the country consumes 90% of the wine it produces. However, the desire to increase exports fueled significant advances in quality. Argentine wines started being exported during the 1990s, and are currently growing in popularity. The devaluation of the Argentine peso in 2002 further fueled the industry as production costs decreased and tourism significantly increased, giving way to a whole new concept of wine tourism in Argentina. Mendoza is now one of Argentina\'s top tourist destinations and the one which has grown the most in the past years.

Argentina is the largest wine producer in South America and the 5th largest in the world, with over 1,200 million liters (2003), and the 13th largest exporter in the world (431 million USD in 2005). Argentina probably produces the best Malbec. Ironically, in the 1980s, Argentina almost gave up on the grape through government vine pull schemes.

Due to the high altitude and low humidity of the main wine producing regions, Argentine vineyards rarely face the problems of insects, fungi, moulds and other diseases that affect grapes in other countries. This permits cultivating with little or no pesticides, allowing even organic wines to be easily produced.

The most important wine regions of the country are located in the provinces of Mendoza and San Juan (Cuyo region), and La Rioja. Salta, Catamarca and Río Negro are also wine producing regions. The Mendoza Province produces more than 60% of the Argentine wine and the source of an even higher percentage of the total exports (84% by value during the first trimester of 2006).

Mendoza - Valle Central, Mendoza area, Valle de Uco, San Rafael area
San Juan - Valle de Tulum, Valle de Ullum
Salta - Valles Calchaquíes
La Rioja -Valle de Famatina
Catamarca - Valle de Tinogasta
Río Negro (Alto Valle)
Jujuy - San Salvador de Jujuy (Northernmost wine producing province that has produced wines at some of the highest recorded altitudes)
Neuquén - San Pedro del Chañar (developing wine region in the north of the Patagonian province)

This article is based entirely or in part on the Argentina wikipedia article and is licenced under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation Licence.


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In this category

Bodega Piedra Negra Pinot Gris 2013

This is 100% Pinot Gris, an extraordinary variety that ripens early and thrives in the Ueo Valley, Mendoza, producing high quality wines. Amazingly it is a red grape vatiety vinified as a white wine! Lurton were the first estate to plant Pinot Gris in Argentina. It has aromas of ripe grapefruit and pineapple. On the palate the flavour is full, rich, concentrate and persistent with a delicious exotic complexity. [read on...]


£9.45  

A B V: 13% Vintage: 2013 Color: white Country: Argentina Code: 79705

Chacayes 2003 Malbec

During the mid 1990s Lurton planted a vineyard especially for the production of exceptional wines on the high plateaus of the Andes. The location had all the qualities Lurton was looking for; poor soil made up of gravel, sand and volcanic dust, a cool climate owing to the high altitude (over 3000 feet) and pure water for irrigation. They are now starting to reap the benefits of this exceptional investment. This wine is dark bright plum colour, showing lots of glycerine extract. The nose is immediately attractive with high quality oak scents mixed with ripe fruit. The aromas of black cherries and bitter chocolate are associated with low cropped Malbec. Fresh sweet and well integarated chocolate and roasted coffee bean flavours on the palate with good lively acidity balancing the richness of fruit. Long and spicy finish, with finely integrated oak and tight ripe tannins indicating a long life ahead. A truly great wine. [read on...]


£33.90  

A B V: 14.5% Vintage: 2003 Color: red Country: Argentina Region: Mendoza Code: 66151

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