Argentine Wines ~ New World Fun in Argentina
Discovering all that Argentine Wines have to offer has been a gold mine for me. My journey has been filled with many gems to enjoy and savor with family and friends. During the past 10 years, Argentina has evolved from the small export of a few thousand cases, to an large increase in wine production. Naturally, this adds to my joy as a wine lover!
Did you know? Argentine wines are considered New World wines, but actually have a rich history dating back more than 400 years. Spanish missionaries spread wine making practices throughout Argentina – much as they would be later, in California –who planted vines to ensure a supply of sacramental wines.
The growing conditions around the Andes Mountains were high and dry, but these settlers used and improved the natives’ agricultural practices. This practice channeled melting snow and ice from the Andean peaks to irrigate the vineyards. Once they had a water supply, the valleys in the foothills of the Andes provided ideal conditions for growing vines. This was due to the warm, sunny days and chilly nights. This truly allowed Argentine wines to flourish!
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Argentine wine industry was renewed by an influx of Italian and Spanish immigrants. These immigrants brought new vines and a wealth of wine making experience to South America. European grape varieties flourished there. One grape in particular – Malbec, native to southwest France – would become Argentina’s signature red grape.
The support of Flying Winemaker Michel Rolland of many select vineyards and wineries also added to Argentina’s coming up. Michel Rolland now has his own Argentine vineyard: Clos du Siesto 7, a true Malbec with a Bordeaux twist!
Argentine Grape Varieties
Argentine Malbec’s intense color, aromas of berry fruit, plums and honey plus its ability to ripen to perfection creates lovely wines. These Malbec wines have a velvety texture and long, lingering flavors. Furthermore, when oak-aged in barrels, the extra dimensions of vanilla and soft tannin give the wines great structure. Malbec is a perfect partner for beef, or even chocolate and red berry fruit desserts.
Torrontés, Argentina’s celebrated white grape, produces unique aromas and a bright wine. Because of these traits, it is a fine pairing for seafood and spicy dishes. This grape is aromatic and is similar to a Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc.
At our recent Teach n’ Taste event, our guests enjoyed 5 unique Argentine wines (including this delicious Rosé Brut that popped and fizzled all over my wife). We paired these wines with a yummy 3-course meal prepared by Chef Ghada of a Dash of Salt n’ Pepper.
Also, don’t forget to attend our next Teach n’ Taste event!