Over the past decade Argentina has evolved from a country not well known on the global wine scene to the New World’s fastest growing exporter of wines. The leading grape in Argentina in terms of reputation and quantity is Malbec, a Bordeaux variety imported to Argentina from France in the mid 19th century. Other red varieties produced in Argentina include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Bonarda (known as Charbono in its native Italy), Syrah, Tempranillo and Pinot Noir. Among white wines, the Argentinian wine region’s signature grape is Torrontés, which yields a floral, tropical-tasting wine. The country also produces Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio.
There are seven denominated Argentinian wine regions: Mendoza, Salta, Neuquén, Río Negro, Catamarca, La Rioja and San Juan. Among these, Mendoza is the leader in terms of quantity and quality, with roughly 80% of the nation’s wine production centered in this desert region located almost directly across the Andes Mountains from Santiago, Chile, and about 650 miles due west of Buenos Aires. Neuquén and Río Negro, meanwhile, are in southerly Patagonia, while Salta is in the north of the country, near the border with Bolivia (Torrontés is a specialty in Salta); Catamarca, La Rioja and San Juan are lesser known regions that mostly satisfy the domestic market.
Wine Enthusiast’s Buying Guide features thousands of Argentine wine ratings from all over the country. Conduct a quick and easy search to find ratings from your favorite producers to access the Argentinian wine guide.