Argentinean wines offer fantastic value, with some great tasting wines at the £5-£10 mark. Combine that with some unusual grapes and you’ll soon see why Argentina is becoming a very interesting and key player in the wine world.
Expressing the Best
Argentina has an exceptionally grape-friendly climate. Crystal clear skies and sunshine, cooling breezes and melt water from the Andes allow even international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Grigio to flourish. Even Viognier, which can be really tricky to grow, is starting to do very well there. Bonarda is a little-known Italian grape which when grown on Argentine soils, becomes a fruity marvel. Malbec is a Bordeaux grape, which in native France makes rather tannic wines. It’s taken to Argentina like a duck to water, the extra sunlight and fantastic soils giving it extra depth, flavour and vigour. Like so many other grape varieties in Argentina, Malbec has found a new spiritual home. Torrontes, however, is the most distinctive of Argentinean grapes, as it is the only grape which is considered 100% Argentine. A fragrant, floral white wine, Argentinean Torrontes is deliciously refreshing and tastes great with spicy food.
On the Up
Since the 1990’s, Argentina has increased its investment in producing and exporting its wines. The result is that the country is now reported to be the world’s fifth largest wine producer and makes a fantastic range of very drinkable Argentinean wines.
Lets be honest, you are unlikely to come across a wine growing region in Argentina with the same status as Burgundy or Bordeaux. However, that doesn’t mean to say that you won’t come across wines of comparable quality. Argentina has really upped the anti in the last few years and is now producing some top quality wines that the Old World would be proud of. And the best bit? Because Argentinean wines often don’t have the same status attached to them as some of the more traditional wine growing regions, you’ll generally find that they will be far kinder to your pocket.
Healthy and Disease Free
Most of the vineyards in Argentina are located at high altitude and therefore receive low humidity and maximum sunlight. This means that the vines rarely face the problems of insects and disease that affects grapes in other countries. Also, because they receive high levels of antioxidants, Argentinean wines can be classed as some of the healthiest wines in the world.
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Louise Truswell works in and writes about the wine industry. For more information and to choose from a range of Argentinean wines, visit www.virginwines.com
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