Wine Regions of Argentina: La Rioja

(Photo by pablodf)

Although Mendoza is Argentina’s top wine region, La Rioja, is one of the oldest and has the longest continued history of wine production in the country.  The Spanish-named province was planted with grapes by Jesuit missionaries who settled there in the 16th century, and is the main producer of our white, crisp Torrontés Riojano, an indigenous grape from which truly local wine is made.

The main winemaking area in La Rioja is Chilecito where the Famatina Valley is located. The high altitude, low humidity, the sandy loam soils and sunny weather make this an ideal place for viticulture with Torrontés Riojano and Bonarda as the main cultivated varieties, although Muscat of Alexandria, Pinot Grigio, Malbec and Syrah are also thriving in the area. Other interesting wine producing areas are Nonogasta, Vichigasta, Anillaco, and Famatina, representing roughly 3,7% of the total area with vineyards in Argentina.

For a special sample of Argentine wines, accompanied by snacks from HG Restaurant, don’t miss our weekly tastings every Thursday starting at 7PM at Fierro Hotel.  Soler 5862, Palermo. 3220 6800. recepcion@fierrohotel.com.

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