Wine of the World

Wine Basics By Country - Argentina Print

Overview

Located in South America, Argentina is the world’s fifth largest wine producer and the sixth largest per capita consumer. Vineyards exist at 700m to 1,4000m (2,300-4,600ft) and up to 3,015m (9,080ft). 2,950ft. is the average. Because of the altitude, diurnal temperature swings can be in the mid-thirty degree range (F). Irrigation is very important, with flood irrigation often used. Much of the soil is sandy. It is not phylloxera free, but the vines seem to recover, growing new roots. Chile is nervous because Chilean wineries are buying vineyards in Argentina and they think phylloxera could travel to Chile.

Additional Information

Intensity of flavor in the grapes is thought to come from the large diurnal temperature difference, dry air and abundant sunlight. Mid 19th century immigration from Italy and Spain was an influence. Bonarda is the second most planted red grape. Torrontes Riojana is an important white grape thought to have come from Spain. It is floral, perfumed and crisp. Malbec(k), which dominated Bordeaux in the 18th century, is the most planted red grape. It has smaller, tighter bunches than it does in Cahors and does better at higher altitudes. Mendoza (where Norton is located) is the most important region with three-fourths of the vineyards. Other grapes grown include:

Other Emerging Varietals:

Red - Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Merlot, Syrah, Pinot Negro (Noir), Bonarda, and Barbera
White - Chenin Blanc, Ugni Blanc, Chardonnay, Semillon and Tocai Friulano