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.

Argentine Wines: Bonarda

(Photo by Jorge Lorte)

Next to Malbec, Bonarda is one of the most popularly cultivated grapes in the country, and also one of the most traditional. Its origins are disputed as some say Argentine Bonarda was brought from one of three regions in Italy, others say its a not really Bonarda but French Corbeau, and yet others suggest it is actually Californian Charbono. Perhaps, it is the ambiguity of its origins that make this grape so local in the end.

Originally this grape variety was used to make ordinary table wine until its potential for fine wine began to be explored. Since then, the Bonarda market has expanded and now produces both table and premium wines, which are awarded and consumed internationally.

The deep colored Bonarda wines reminisce to red fruits like raspberries,  strawberries and cherries. Aromatic, with moderate acidity and a slightly lower alcoholic content than Malbec, this velvety light-bodied wine is ideal to pair with pastas grilled meat and vegetables, and legumes.

 

For a special sample of 5 Argentine wines, accompanied by snacks from HG Restaurant, book your place at our exclusive weekly tastings every Thursday starting at 7PM at Fierro Hotel.  Soler 5862, Palermo. 3220 6800. recepcion@fierrohotel.com.

Argentine Wines: Cabernet Sauvignon

(Photo by Niallkennedy)

Considered a royal amongst red wine varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon stands out for its boldness and elegance. Originally from Bordeaux, the internationally renown grape is, after Malbec, one Argentina’s most important, having recently found promising soil in Valle del Uco in the Mendoza region and San Patricio de Chañar in Neuquén, Patagonia.

The small dark grapes are popular not only for the noble wines that are derived from them, but also for their adaptability to different climates and their aging potential due to their high levels of tannin.

Fruity hints of currants, cherries and plum are present in Cabernet Sauvignon wines made with overripe grapes whilst vegetable flavors of green bell peppers, olives, licorice and mint appear in wines made with under ripe grapes. When aged in oak, flavors of smoke and incense arise as well as woody cedar and truffles.  These intense deep red wines, in all of their styles, pair well with flavorful food such as red meat, lamb, stews,locro, and strong tasting cheeses.

For a special sample of 5 Argentine wines, accompanied by snacks from HG Restaurant, book your place at our exclusive weekly tastings every Thursday starting at 7PM at Fierro Hotel.  Soler 5862, Palermo. 3220 6800. recepcion@fierrohotel.com.

Wine Regions of Argentina – Patagonia

(Photo by ARACELOTA)

The Patagonian landscape is well known for it’s beauty, and tales of  dwarfs, gnomes and fairies. More recently however, the country’s Southern region is becoming increasingly known for brining promising new wines to the country’s viticultural industry.

Due a lower latitude and altitude, the area is very different from the northern Mendoza, San Juan and Salta regions and much cooler. Additionally many of the vineyards lie on the Patagonian dessert which receive irrigation from the a canal system providing water from the Colorado,  Rio Negro and Neuquen rivers.

The two main wine making areas in the South, Rio Negro and the more recently developed Neuquen, are acquiring a name for producing the exclusive Pinot Noir grape, as well as other grapes such as Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and Semillon which are also acquiring a great reputation.

This unique wine making area of Argentina is undoubtedly very different from the traditional viticulural regions, however  and although it is still developing, it is proving to be a promising land for top quality wine production.

For a special sample of Argentine wines, accompanied by snacks from HG Restaurant, book your place at our exclusive weekly tastings every Thursday starting at 7PM at Fierro Hotel.  Soler 5862, Palermo. 3220 6800. recepcion@fierrohotel.com.