Argentina's Grape Varietals

Argentina has great soils and climates to cultivate in exceptional ways, year after year, different varietals.

Originally from southwest France and Bordeaux, it is the red varietal that has experienced the best adaptation to Argentine soil, providing consumers exceptional wines. Intense aromas, very concentrated purple color and exciting taste: without any doubt Argentina produces the best Malbecs of the world. Ranges from light and young red wines with fruit-forward aromatics to full-bodied inky wines with sweet tannins and great aging potential. Typical aromas of plums, berries, and violets and crisp, chewy tannins; it is grown in all the winemaking areas in the country with different resulting characteristics. Wtih Malbec as its standard, Argentine wineries are gaining a position among the best wines in the world. Food pairings:It matches very well with creole barbecue or red meats in general, also pastas, pizzas and hard cheese. There are 97,000 acres planted in Argentina.

Bonarda is the second most planted fine grape in Argentina, just behind Malbec. It is commonly found in the east part of Mendoza, (where it is warmer) where it produces high-yield table wine. However in cooler parts of Mendoza you can find low-yield vineyards which produce very high quality wine. It is not the same as the two Bonardas in Piamonte, Italy, it is related to Douce Noir in Savoie, France (also known as Charbono). However just like Malbec, Bonarda in Argentina has found its place in the world with a promising future, showing its intense purple color, fruity aromas and round tannins. Food pairings: This wine is very food friendly; try it with chicken and red meat. There are 47,000 acres planted in Argentina.

Historically associated with the grand Bordeaux wines, it is the most widely recognized red variety in the world, due to the easy adaptation of this vine in different winemaking regions. It produces wine rich in tannin and color with firm acidity, it has affinity for oak and can spend many months in it. In Argentina this variety is grown from Salta (North of the country) to Rio Negro (Patagonia) and provides powerful wines with pleasant aromas and notes that remind us of strawberry, red peppers, cherries and spices. The tannins in Argentine Cabernets are often softer and rounder than those from other parts of the world. Food pairings: Mainly red meat, stuffed peppers, with stews that accompany pasta. Grilled meats are an excellent match for this varietal. There are 40,400 acres planted in Argentina.

Native to Bordeaux, France, mainly grown for blending with Cab Sauv and Merlot, but showing all its potential on the Right Bank in Saint Emilion, with wines like Cheval Blanc. This grape loves Clay and Chalk soils and is worldwide planted, finding its home in countries and states like north Italy, Hungary, Washington State, Sonoma, Napa and Argentina. As a father of Cabernet Sauvignon (which got married to Sauvignon Blanc), this grape shares many organoleptic similarities, but has less tannins and color and more elegance. It ripens a week earlier than Cab. Sauv. So it can be planted in cooler areas, where Cab. Sauv, could face difficulties, but it still needs a lot of sunlight (sun exposure) to avoid the strong green pepper aromas (pyrazines). In Washington State and Argentina it found its appropriate weather conditions. Since 2000 In Argentina this grape has increasingly grown both in surface and in quality, being awarded over the last years with the highest scores like the best Malbecs. Originally used in small percentages in blends with Malbec to help to add more complexity, this grape has opened its way by itself, thus showing to everyone that it can be as a 100% varietal one of the top quality grapes from Argentina. Squeeze Magazine has called it “ The new handsome superhero of Mendoza’s wine scene”. With notes of raspberries, blue berries, flowers, graphite and some nice vegetables , Argentinian Cabernet Franc has a great potential as a top quality wine to be shared worldwide. Food pairings: Red meat, delicate stews, risottos and of course grilled meat (Asado). There are 2,500 acres planted in Argentina.

Just as Malbec is considered Argentina’s unique red wine, Torrontes is considered a unique wine from Argentina. This Torrontes only has vineyards in Argentina , it is a different grape than the Torrontes you can find in Galicia. DNA research showed it is a cross between Moscatel de Alejandria small grain with Criolla (local white grape, like a Mission white), given a unique wine very aromatic with particular nose of white flowers, peaches, citrics, muscat and jasmine. It is a vine that could be very productive and sensitive to the sun, but if you take care of have low yield and care about not overripe, you can have an very delicate and perfumed wine, which is great to pairing with Assian food, seafood and spices empanadas. In Argentina the best torrontes comes from Salta, Rioja and also some particular areas in Mendoza. There are 25,000 acres planted in Argentina

Syrah has gained his reputation in the great wines of Cote du Rhone and is Australia’s flagship varietal (as “Shiraz”). It is a vigorous and solid wine, with rich and distinctive flavors of pepper, spice, black cherry, tar, meat and leather with round tannins and intense aromas. In Argentina this variety promising future in high quality production. Food pairings: It is ideal to match with game meat, like duck or venison also with turkey, chicken, sausages and cold meat. There are 31,000 acres planted in Argentina.

This variety from the Southwest of France is the second most traditional and significant vine of the greatest Bordeaux wines. It has adapted very well in different parts of the world. Argentina produces excellent Merlot varietals, among which Merlot from the Province of Rio Negro stand out, in their young or fruity version or with oak aging. As a wine, Argentina’s style of Merlot is more like a Cabernet, with similar currant and cherry flavors and firm tannins. Food pairings: Merlot is very versatile and can dishes such as lamb, dishes with beans, nuts, grilled vegetables, and steak.
There are 15,500 acres planted in Argentina.

As Cabernet is the king of the reds, so Chardonnay is the king of white wines. Coming from Burgundy, it has adapted very well across the world, producing good results in very diverse sites, from the cold weather of the Champagne region to the hottest tempreatures of Australia. In Argentina, the wine offers bold ripe, rich and intense fruit flavors of apple, fig, melon, peach, pear, lemon, pineapple, along with honey, spic, butter, and hazelnut flavores. Food pairing: In general, Chardonnay goes well with seafood and white meats. It’s also a good option for vegetarian dishes. A young Chardonnay also works well with pasta. There are 16,000 acres planted in Argentina.

Pinot Noir is the famous grape of Burgundy (Bourgogne), France. Pinot Noir has very complex aromas with substantial flavor despite its delicacy. It can be intense with a ripe-grape or black cherry aroma and a spiciness that suggests cinnamon or mint. Ripe tomato, mushroom, and barnyard are also common descriptors for identifying Pinot Noir. Grows very well in cool climates with long sun exposure like Patagonia. Food pairings: It harmonizes well with grilled salmon, a good cut of plain roast beef, or any dish that features mushrooms as the main flavor element.
There are 4,453 acres planted in Argentina.

It is the main white grape from Burdeaux and Loire Valley, France. It has adapted very well to different viticultural regions in the world, such as New Zealand, the Northeast of Italy, Chile, the coast valleys of California, Australia, and Argentina. It has citrus and herbal aromas and is crisp and refreshing.
There are 5,700 acres planted in Argentina.

Originally from Spain, where is the main grape responsible for the great La Rioja wines. The Tempranillo is tremendously versatile in Argentina, where it was introduced by the Spanish immigrants at the beginning of the twentieth century. Tempranillo is distinctive for its supple texture, high tannins, medium to full body, and spice, raspberry, cherry and anise flavors. In premium Argentine terroirs, such as La Consulta, it can produce very high quality wines. Food pairings: It is very versatile to pair with food, it is great with meat dishes as well as chicken, pork, and even vegetables
There are 15,500 acres planted in Argentina.

This grape is originally from Cote du Rhone, France. In Argentina it produces wies that commonly have aromas of orange blossom, honey, tropical fruits, and anise. Food pairings: Spicy dishes and grilled fish and chicken.
There are 2,000 acres planted in Argentina.

Tannat is originally from France. It is the traditional grape of Madiran in southwest France and the national grape of Uruguay. The grape is famous for its intense tannins and body, as well as its dense purple-red color and smoky aromas of spice, plums and raspberries. In Argentina Tannat does particularly well in Cafayate, Salta. Food pairings: It pairs well with meats, barbecues, and mature cheeses.
There are 1,700 acres planted in Argentina.