Wine Regions of Argentina: Salta

(Photo by Tanenhaus)

Although Salta is most commonly known for its impressive landscapes and colorful indigenas, wine making in the region (as in most of Argentina) dates back to the sixteenth century, ever since Spanish Colonials inhabited the area.  Despite producing a smaller percentage of the country’s wine than other provinces such as Mendoza and San Juan, the viticulture activity of the area has increased in the last years, producing top wines that have acquired great acceptance in the local and international markets.

The two main areas of viticulture in Salta are Cafayate and further to the north Colomé, both in the stunning Calchaquí Valleys. The dry warm weather,  the irrigation from the valleys melt water  and nearby rivers and the arid rocky soil are favorable for the cultivation of fine grapes. Additionally, the vineyards are at very high altitudes (they are amongst the highest vineyards in the world) and have  a lot of exposure to sun, which increases the amount of polyphenols (antioxidants) in the grapes. (The large amount of beneficial antioxidants is generally recognized in all Argentine wine.)

The typical grape of the Salta region is the sweet Riojan Torrontes, for which it is internationally recognized,  and other white grapes that also grow well such as Chardonnay and Chenin. There is also a large production of red grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Syrah and Tannat.

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.

Wine Regions of Argentina: Mendoza

Valle de Uco, Mendoza

Situated in the West of the country, Mendoza, Argentina’s most important wine region, is famous for its dark purple Malbec grapes as well as for its Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot amongst others.  The province, which has stable temperatures, a lot of sun,  and a unique terroir, irrigates its beautiful vineyards with the glacial water of the Andes Mountains that serve as a spectacular backdrop.

The region is geographically divided into many sub regions amongst which Lujan de Cuyo and Valle de Uco stand out in terms of wine production.

Lujan de Cuyo is just south of Mendoza city and reaps the benefits of irrigating its top-quality vineyards with high-purity and low salinity water from the glacial Mendoza River. Right next to Lujan de Cuyo is Agrelo, a smaller sub-region that also produces wonderful Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc grapes.

Valle de Uco is a valley at the foothills of the Andes Mountains, set on the north of the Tunuyan River and is considered to be one of the best areas for the wine industry. This area also produces nuts and fruits and is a great place to visit due to its stunning scenery. More information and investment opportunities in the Uco Valley are available at La Morada de Los Andes.

To try wines from the Mendoza area book your place in one of our Thursday wine tasting starting at 7PM at Fierro Hotel.  Soler 5862, Palermo. 3220 6800.

Copied below are the wines we will be trying today:

Las Perdices Sauvignon Blanc 2010 – Agrelo – Lujan de Cuyo – Mendoza

Escorihuela Gascón Pequeñas Producciones Chardonnay 2009 – Agrelo – Lujan de Cuyo – Mendoza

Ocio Merlot 2009 – Alto Valle – Río Negro – Patagonia

Patritti Primogénito Malbec 2008 – San Patricio del Chañar – Neuquén – Patagonia

Antucura Grand Vin 2005 – Vistaflores – Tunuyan – Valle de Uco – Mendoza