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Torrontés trumps as the favorite white wine

November 9, 2011 | in Awards, News

This white grape variety, unique to Argentina, has become the favorite white wine, according to a study conducted by Wine Intelligence. Torrontés was regarded as “the best” among varieties such as Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc.

The study tested consumer taste perceptions of Torrontés by pitching it against the UK’s best selling white wine varieties including Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc.

This report was made based on a survey. The respondents blind tasted six wines from two key price brackets including £5 to £7.99 and £8 to £10. They were asked to assess them on overall likeability of aroma and taste, likelihood to buy and recommend, and recognition of the grape variety itself.

On the basis of this, three Argentine Torrontés wines were tasted in each price bracket – two single varietal and one blend – along with a well known branded New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Australian Chardonnay and Italian Pinot Grigio.

Highlights from the research include:

  • Within the £5-£7.99 bracket two Torrontés – a single varietal and Torrontés / Chardonnay blend – ranked highest (above all competing classic varieties including New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Australian Chardonnay and Italian Pinot Grigio)
  • Within the £8-10 bracket, a Torrontés achieved second overall favorite, only beaten by a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
  • Both single varietal Torrontés and Torrontés blends scored highly indicating the potential for both styles in the marketplace
  • Torrontés competed favorably against its rivals on all measures including taste, aroma, and likelihood to buy and recommend

While the results show a clear appreciation of Torrontés among UK wine consumers, the study also highlighted that their awareness of the grape is currently low – with only 18% recognition of the name Torrontés versus over 90% for the other varieties tested.

On the other hand, comparing distribution channels, only 19% of off-trade and 18% of on-trade had heard of Torrontés, versus the 93% recognition in the off-trade and 91% in the on-trade for Pinot Grigio.

Andrew Maidment, European director for Wines of Argentina said the results “not only confirmed our belief that Torrontés has a place in the UK market, but that it also offers consumers a real alternative to the classic white wine varieties”.

“The challenge now is to raise its profile – both through increased marketing activity and distribution in the on-trade and off-trade,” he added.

Likewise, Maidment admitted: “it was still early days for Argentina’s increasingly important” Torrontés variety, which makes up just 6% of Argentinian wine sold in the UK.


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