Being the only wine variety considered 100% Argentine, Torrontés is cultivated in all the wine regions of the country, from Salta to Rio Negro. Argentina is practically the only country that produces it, and so the name Torrontés is readily associated with Argentina. There are three types of Torrontés: Riojana, Sanjuanina and Mendocina. The Riojana variety, the most representative of the three, is used to make the Cafayate Torrontés (from Salta) and, of course, the La Rioja wines. Wines made with this variety have received many international awards because its taste -so different from other white wines- has seduced wine tasters around the world.
Its origin has been an issue of broad-ranging discussion amongst many wine experts, but its relationship to the Europe Mediterranean Muscat is undeniable. A proof of this bond is its fragrant and unmistakable aroma, resembling roses, jasmine and geranium, with occasional spicy essences. The first cultivation of Torrontés dates back from the times of the Spanish Conquerors, and ever since it became one of the most cultivated grape variety in the country. Recently, it has been elaborated as sparkling and fortified wine, with excellent results in both cases.
Torrontés produces a unique symbiosis with spicy food and Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai dishes. It pairs marvelously with Northern Argentinean food, such as the typical empanadas and corn stew.
Information provided by agronomists Alberto Alcalde and José Rodríguez, and Wines of Argentina. Photos from ‘The World Atlas of Wine’ by Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson.