Wine Argentina (visit store) specialises in selling high altitude wine from Argentina. High altitude wine benefits from high sunlight but cooler temperatures ripen the grapes more slowly. This slow ripening allows more sophisticated flavours to develop.
Grapes grown in hot regions ripen faster and develop more sugar that turns into alcohol during fermentation. Grapes grown in cooler climates ripen more slowly. This helps the wines achieve higher acidity, greater flavour and the lower alcohol levels that are so popular today.
The effect of high altitude is very significant because the temperature drops by about 0.5 degrees for each 100-meter rise and the grapes receive more sunlight. There is also a smaller change in temperature between day and night which results in more balanced wines.
High altitudes are a boon to organic producers because the colder drier winters kill off pests and the wind prevents damp, mould and disease. This dramatically reduces the need to spray the fruit with chemicals. Many our our high altitude wines are certified organic including,
Is high-altitude wine expensive?
Vineyards in high altitude areas often have higher transport and labour costs but Argentina has been creating wines since 1557 and knows a thing or two about wine making. We drink 90% of our production ourselves but in recent years we have developed a strong export market for high quality wine.
The most important wine regions of the country are located in the provinces of Mendoza, San Juan and La Rioja. Salta, Catamarca, Río Negro and more recently southern Buenos Aires are also wine producing regions. The Mendoza province produces more than 60% of the Argentine wine and is the source of an even higher percentage of the total exports. Due to the high altitude and low humidity of the main wine producing regions, Argentine vineyards rarely face the problems of insects, fungi, molds and other grape diseases that affect vineyards in other countries. Vineyards need little or no pesticides, which enables even organic wines to be easily produced and reduces costs.
There are many different varieties of grapes cultivated in Argentina, reflecting the country’s many immigrant groups. The French brought Malbec, which makes most of Argentina’s best known wines. The Italians brought vines that they called Bonarda, although Argentine Bonarda appears to be the Douce noir of Savoie, also known as Charbono in California. It has nothing in common with the light fruity wines made from Bonarda Piemontese in Piedmont. Torrontés is another typically Argentine grape and is mostly found in the provinces of La Rioja, San Juan, and Salta. It is a member of the Malvasia group that makes aromatic white wines. It has recently been grown in Spain. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Chardonnay and other international varieties are becoming more widely planted, but some varieties are cultivated characteristically in certain areas.
You can see our full range of delicious high altitude wines from Argentina by visiting our store.
(c) Pablo from Wine Argentina with additional content from Wikipedia.