I am writing this blog entry at London Heathrow Airport. I shouldn’t be here. I should be in Argentina, sitting in a wine bar in Buenos Aires rather than on a bench in Terminal 5 listening to a voice very similiar to ex-Spice Girls’s Mel C reminding us that unattended luggage will be removed and destroyed. Good to know.
But British Airways didn’t want to take me on their flight last night and rebooked me on today’s flight. Therefore, I have plenty of time to read about wine growing in Argentina and share the most important facts and figures with you. So, let’s read and learn a little.
- There is wine in Argentina ( I am stating this as the first point, because I have actually met a few people who didn’t know that there was wine in Argentina).
- Internationally, Argentina is the seventh largest wine growing country. The total area covered with grapes is 227 000 ha.
- Argentina is on fifth rang when it comes to wine production. In 2014 it produced 15,2 Mio hl wine (and compared to earlier years one can say that production overall is increasing).
- It has got the longest wine growing region stretching for 1750 km from Salta in the North to Chubut in the South.
- Wine growing began with the Spanish coloniziers in the 16th century. 1561 saw two vineyards in the city of Mendoza.
- Malbec, Argentina’s most prominent grape variety, was introduced from France in the 19th century.
- In Argentina you can find the world’s highest vineyard at around 2400 meters above sea level in the region of Salta.
- Torrontés Riojano is the most prominent white grape in Argentina. Its main growing region is the Northwest in the region Salta. Originally, it is from the North of Spain.
- About 80% of Argentinian wine is grown and produced in the region Cuyo, in the Northwest of Argentina with Mendoza being the biggest wine region in Cuyo (around 150 000 ha), and therefore the biggest wine region in the whole of Argentina.
- Argentina is red wine country. If you go into a wine shop roughly 20 of the wines are white, all the rest is red.