Every Monday we prepare a lesson for you about our wine of the week, to appreciate it even more and discover its history, its provenance its flavors… because understanding wine is an art!
This week, we are going to Argentina, In the central west of the territory, at the foot of the Andes to discover a bright red spicy Argentinian red wine: Altos Las Hormigas, Tinto.
Along the 3800 km of extension from north to south, the area of vineyards in Argentina covers 215,169 hectares (2019), of which 198,220 correspond to a range of grape varieties giving rise to wines of the highest oenological quality. What is interesting is that the diversity of the terroirs gives a different character and a profile specific to each grape variety. What about wines from Mendoza ?
Mendoza concentrates 75% of the total vineyards in Argentina and the largest number of wineries in the country. This makes it the most important wine province and one of the main producing centers worldwide.
The Andes has its highest heights in Mendoza: at 6,959 meters, Aconcagua Hill is the highest peak in America. The presence of the Andes, which acts as a barrier to the humid winds of the Pacific, added to the distance to the Atlantic Ocean, shape the climate generating ideal conditions for the cultivation of the vine. The height, the continental climate, the heterogeneity of the soils and the water coming from the thaw are key factors for the production of wines of excellent quality, which add to a strong winemaking tradition.
The territory of Mendoza can be divided into five major sub regions, which give the varieties their particular characteristics: Valle de Uco, made up of the departments of Tunuyán, Tupungato and San Carlos; the First Zone, which includes the departments of Luján de Cuyo and Maipú; and the northern oases (Lavalle and Las Heras), the eastern (San Martín, Rivadavia, Junín, Santa Rosa and La Paz) and the southern (San Rafael, Malargüe and General Alvear), covering practically all the provincial geography.
The high degree of development achieved by viticulture, coupled with new research promoted by a generation of restless producers, has led to the identification of micro regions with differential attributes of terroir, reflecting the diverse character of Argentine viticulture. It is specifically in Malbec where this quality is best appreciated.
With 20% of the total surface of Malbec planted in the country, Mendoza is the main producer, although Bonarda, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Tempranillo also stand out among its predominant varieties.
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