The Vines of Mendoza

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Alex Holland moved to Mendoza just about two years ago to learn about the traditions of Argentine winemaking and it was love at first sip.

Torrontés 101


When you travel to Mendoza you’re guaranteed to taste a varietal that you have never heard of. Torrontés can only be found in Argentina and is an indigenous varietal with a light yellow color, green and golden hues possessing aromas of roses, jasmine and citrus fruits that are all more refreshing than the sweet signs would suggest. A white wine that is sure to keep you cool during the hot summer days.


Three types of Torrontés exist in Argentina: the Mendocino, Sanjuanino and the Riojano (the most harvested and produced). The terrior of the Cafayate Valley in Salta has been very helpful in creating the identity of the Torrontés, but has only outlined it. Torrontés is uncertain: that’s a fact. It’s a three-headed monster that has yet to be contained and has yet to find its perfect balance in production like that of the Malbec.


Finding the balance for this grape will be difficult but not impossible, as vineyard and winery techniques continue to develop and modify, the Torrontés could soon be perfected here in Argentina. The most cultivated Riojano possesses the flavors and characteristics taking the international wine world by storm.


Torrontés is a nostalgic varietal that has winemakers and critics dwelling on its complexity and compare it to other greats from around the globe. It has been a wine that winemakers have not perfected, with so much potential it’s sure to develop into something big and continue to show that it’s one of Argentina’s oldest white wines and the best.


In recent wine-searcher article, Pablo Martorell, The Vines’ winemaker said, “There’s still something lacking in the identity of Torrontés, but if the identity is in La Rioja and Salta, we need to make it there, and be more responsible to do this wine the best way.”


The Riojano shows the potential of what lays hidden in this varietal, but winemakers still feel that there is still much to be discovered about the Torrontés, like that of its darker counterpart the Malbec.

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