Argentina’s dynamic wine industry has boomed over the past decade thanks to rapid modernisation and a great deal of investment, lured by the potential that exists in the country’s high altitude vineyards. The country is divided into three primary wine regions: The North; Cuyo (central) and Patagonia in the south each with their own distinct wine districts.
The wine producing area of Mendoza, in the far west along the foothills of the Andes, is by far the most significant wine – growing province, with over 150,000 hectares of vineyard giving huge variation in grape varieties and style. Other key wine producing provinces in Argentina are: Jujuy; Salta; Catarmaca; Tucuman; La Rioja; San Juan; La Pampa; Neuquen and Rio Negro.
Malbec, native to South West France, is Argentina’s flagship grape variety and seems to have found its true home in upper Mendoza, particularly in Luján de Cuyo (designated Argentina’s first controlled appellation in 1993). The second most planted red variety is Bonarda, which is enjoying considerably more success here than its native Italy. Other popular red grape varieties planted in Argentina are amongst others: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Sirah and Pinot Noir.
Torrontés is an increasingly popular white grape choice alongside more traditional varieties of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Viognier and Sémillon.