June 13, 2012
What is Torrontés? [Tohr-ron-tez]
This is Torrontés!
Torrontés, the emblematic white wine of Argentina, is the most planted white grape varietal in the country with over 30,000 planted acres strewn throughout the Argentine wine regions. While it is the number one white varietal in Argentina, Torrontés production is less than 1/2 of its red counterpart, Malbec. Malbec accounts for over 70,000 planted acres of vineyard in Argentina.
Some of the most highly revered Torrontés wines are made with grapes from the La Rioja and Salta provinces in Northern Argentina. Geographically, La Rioja is between Salta and the Argentine wine capital of Mendoza (approximately 430 miles South of Salta and 370 miles North of Mendoza).
Recuerdo Torrontés is harvested in La Rioja!
The hue of the label reflects the color of the Argentine flag.
In La Rioja, the grapes are often planted in harsh conditions. The high altitudes, varying temperatures, low humidity and sandy soils strain the grapes and make them fight for survival. The end result is a distinctly unique wine with rich aromas of flowers, apricots and peaches.
- Torrontés was brought over from Spain by 16th century conquistadors and missionaries.
- It is a natural combination of the Muscat de Alejandro, which originated in North Africa and the Mission grape, known in Argentina as Criolla Chica.
- No other wine growing region in the world cultivates Torrontés as much as Argentina, although this grape is found sparingly in Spain and New Zealand.
- The aromas of Torrontés are often compared to those of fine Viogniers, Muscats and Gewurztraminers.
- Torrontés grapes are round, medium sized, usually of a yellowish green color, sometimes more golden.
- Torrontés is best fermented at cool temperatures, and then aged in a neutral container, such as stainless steel or old oak barrels (so they don’t impart as much flavor), to preserve its fragrance and crisp acidity.
Stay tuned for more from the Torrontés Blog Series…