Friday, May 9, 2014

The Wines of Argentina

Argentina has a flourishing, internationally-recognized wine industry. The unique geography of its primary wine region, Mendoza, helps set it apart. The region is nestled in the foothills and slopes of the Andes, the arid environment exposes the grapes to amazing amounts of sun while the high altitude keeps the temperatures low enough to keep the fruit from over-ripening too quickly. While Mendoza produces about 60% of the nation's wine, other regions like La Rioja and San Juan are gaining renown.

Malbec is the grape that has earned Argentina its place on the world stage of wine. The climate helps the grape reach the pinnacle of ripeness, creating rich and round flavors. This works well for Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and some Italian grapes like Barbera. These same conditions mean that white wines tend to be a bit soft and flabby, but Torrontes is the rare white grape from this country that thrives.

One other reason that the region has gained popularity is the cost of these great wines. Other than some small artisinal producers, the cost of a bottle from Argentina is considerably lower than most other wine regions, so great deals can be found in any price range.

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