Argentine Wine Region Basics

Argentine Wine — By

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When thinking of wine, people do not always associate it with Argentina. However, this is beginning to change, and for good reason. Argentine wines are starting to compete with some of the best wines in the world, evident by the international awards their wines have won. If you are visiting or living in Buenos Aires, no doubt you will be testing the Argentine Wine, and should be taking full advantage of the huge selection.  However, the first few times you go to buy wine, you will likely find it very confusing, and not have any idea which wines to buy, and how much you need to spend. As is true with wines from all countries, there are good, bad, excellent, and horrible wines produced in Argentina. Most importantly, you need to understand the different regions and which types of wine are good from which regions. Here is a BASIC breakdown of where the best wines come from for each region:

North (Salta, Cafyate, )
– the best Torrontes wines come from here. You can also find some very good Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbecs. Wines from this region are high altitude wines, and as such, have to put up with a bright, hot sun during days, and cool nights. This makes the grapes grow a very thick skin, and the result is more astringent wines. This can be both a good or bad thing, but is very characteristic of wines from the north.

San Juan – This is a very dry, dessert like region, and because of these conditions, it is ideal for the production of Syrah and Viognier.

Mendoza – this is by far the best known wine region of Argentina, and for good reason. In general, the best Argentine wines are produced here, and the Malbecs are especially good. Many different grapes grow well in this region, especially Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, and Tempranillo.

Neuquen/Rio Negro
– located in the south of Argentina, they produce the best Merlot and Pinot Noir.
This is a basic guide to help you know which region to look for when purchasing your wines. In general, it is very hard to find good Sauvingong Blanc, Pinto Gris, Pinot Noir, so before buying those, it is best to have a recommendation.

If you are interested in trying wines from some of these regions, try Anuva, who do tastings in two different locations in Buenos Aires.

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  1. Awesome information. I’m writing an article about Argentina and your information has been a big help!

  2. Great article, I’ve just taken to drinking Argentinian wine and I don’t think I’ll be able to go back.

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