Winemaking in Argentina
Argentina, leading the cultivation of qualityvineyards.
Argentina’s long-standing excellence in wine production is undeniable: as a winemaking country, Argentina enjoys the possibility of cultivating quality vineyards across the whole country.
Mendoza and Salta are among the leading wine provinces in the country. Mendoza is regarded as the leader of the vast majority of wine production, and Salta is home to some of the world’s highest elevated vineyards.
To be brief, our uniqueness is shaped by three special features:
· The high-altitude at which we plant our vines
· The unique land on which we live.
· The rich and diverse culture we inherited.
Now let us explain to you more precisely what winemaking in Argentina really means!
The treasure of the New World
Right here at Terrazas de los Andes , we are Argentinian, we are French, we are all vineyardists and work side-by-side every day. Each of us brought distinct and complementary know-hows from various experiences around the world, butall underpinned by a common passion to learn and innovate in a quest for the ultimate wine.
This is Argentina: a continuous mix of cultures inspired by the same values that drove our founder, which contributes to shaping a unique and living identity.
We are the heirs of long line of pioneers and adventurers, from the Spanish colonists who introduced the first vines in 1551 to the Italians, Spanish and French immigrants who come in the 1800′s to find a better life in Argentina. Developing the ancestral system of irrigation inherited from the Inca and Huarpe people, these pioneer civilizations imported European winemaking techniques and revolutionized local wine production.
What makes Argentinian wines so special?
Some say it is about our character and passion, and who are we to deny it? But the true treasure that confers its vibrant identity upon Argentinian wine is to be found in the astonishing specificities of the nature surrounding us.
It is about the mainland strip of vineyards that run along the base of the Andes, lying between 800 and 1,600 meters (2,600 and 5,249 feet) above sea level, providing them with intense flavor and freshness.
It is about the fresh melted-snow waters irrigating the vines and the scarce rainfall guaranteeing plants natural health.
It is about the unique variability of the soil enabling us to cultivate quality vineyards and confering on our wines the authentic characteristics of their different terroirs.
Now let’s take a closer look at these two specific regions at the bedrock or Argentinian wine diversity.
Mendoza: the heart of Argentinian wine
Our home. Mendoza province stands as the main winemaking region of Argentina, producing as much as 80% of the wine. Today it is one of the most prominent centers of the winemaking industry worldwide. If you want to walk the global wine route, you will have to visit us!
It is along the historical Luján de Cuyo area to the Uco Valley in the South-West that we established most of our vineyards, enjoying a great diversity of altitude terroirs to produce the finest Malbec and a great number of varieties: Cabernet-Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Chardonnay….
The Mendoza wine region in 3 facts:
1. Vineyards in the Mendoza province are located alongside a 150-mile strip of the Andes foothills, planted on terraces varying between 800 and 1,250 meters (2,600 and 3,900 feet) above sea level. It is thanks to the fresh air of the mountains that we can harness the hot dry climate of the region to produce the most special of wines.
2. Rainfall is scarce, averaging just 200 mm per year. This is 2.5 times les than the Napa Valley (USA) and 5 times less than the Bordeaux wine region (France). This low humidity helps keep the vines healthy by nature, practically organic, with very limited disease treatment…
3. Don’t expect to find a desert in Mendoza exactly, but it is definitely one of the most arid wine regions in the world. The soil has been shaped by thousands of years of mountain river deposits (mostly rocks and sand), making it hard for any organic element to survive. But when handled with care, the vines produce strong concentrated berries that give our wines their vivid flavor.
Salta: an extreme harmony
When it comes to high-altitude wines, the Salta province (Northern Argentina) is only one step below the sky.
This winemaking province is famous for the Torrontés, a fruity grape only planted in that is used to make one of the finest and most recognizable white wines in the world. It is considered to be one of the most genuine products of Argentina.
The Salta wine region in 3 facts:
1. Vineyards in the region are located between 1,500 and 3,000 meters in altitude (5,500 to 10,000 feet), making it the highest grape-growing region in the world!
2. Salta is all about extremes: it has one of the highest sun exposures in South America and coldest nights. It almost never rains but when it does massive storms quickly blow in.
3. You can find cactuses dotted between the vineyards! Obviously, under these conditions, effective irrigation is an important requisite for viticulture.