Uco Valley

Grape Expectations: Less Common Varieties of Argentina Wine

As Argentina is a country made up of immigrants for the most part, it makes perfect sense that its grapes (excluding Torrontés) are also documented aliens. Take our dearly beloved Malbec. We all know it originates from Cahors in south-west France, don’t we? That’s right, the Old World has had its hand in defining Argentina’s viniculture, thanks to big hitters Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and of course Malbec – from Salta in the north to Patagonia in the south…

 

Photo Tour of Mendoza Vineyards During Harvest 2013

In Mendoza, the grape harvest can start any time from the end of January and continue until mid-May, depending upon the varietal and wine a bodega intends to make. Many wineries used to be located in the city of Mendoza, but over the years they have dispersed in a bid to find new terroir, a move that has seen many wind their way south. I’ve travelled to the province three times since February and have compiled this collage of 2013’s harvest across some of the different vineyard areas of Mendoza.

 

The Top 10 Restaurants in Mendoza

Visitors to Mendoza — city and province — tend to have their eye on one pressing matter, and one pressing matter only: fermented grape juice. The reputation of Argentina’s greatest wine-producing province precedes it, however: it’s not just Malbec and its sibling varietals that are hogging the spotlight. A host of restaurants in Mendoza are making waves with their gastronomical and enological offerings, from steak flame-grilled seven ways to closed-door establishments and Asian fusion cuisine…

 

Blue Sky Drinking: Argentina’s High-Altitude Vineyards

It was at a 3,457 metre-high pass, somewhere way to the west of Salta city, after four hours on switchback, rubble-strewn dirt ‘roads’, that the extraordinary immensity of the Andean Alto-Plano really sank in. Admittedly the cocoa leaves that my native driver kept feeding me (for medicinal purposes) probably added to the sense of dizzying awe…

 

Own Your Piece of the Dream – Vineyard Sharing in Mendoza

Had the Americans put the democrat John Kerry in the White House instead of re-electing George Bush in 2004, things might have been very different. How different is impossible to say, but it certainly changed the life of Michael Evans, one of Kerry’s campaign managers. Desperate for a break after the election defeat, Evans bought a return ticket from Los Angeles to Buenos Aires. “I came literally for a vacation and just expected to be here a couple of weeks.” Eight years on, he’s still there.

 

Putting the Magic in Malbec – the Art of Microclimatic Blending

Fresh from a recent trip to Mendoza, Andrew Catchpole looks at the innovative Argentine art of microclimatic blending. An amusing and revealing tweet recently did the rounds from a satirical would-be-sommelier tweeter. Hashtagged #LessonsInService, the twittersphere was advised: “When writing wine descriptions on a menu: You can write “crisp, crispy or Malbec” on anything and it will sell.”…

 

Mendoza – The Napa of the South

Mendoza has been described as ‘the Napa of the South’ and it’s easy to understand why such parallels are drawn. With both sitting at 33 degrees of latitude there’s a neat symmetry at work for anyone with a smidgeon of interest in how the world’s great vineyards lie. Add to this the regional eminence of both Napa Valley and Mendoza, each celebrated as the most famous quality wine producer in their respective American hemispheres, and such comparisons seem almost inevitable.

 

The New Wave of Wine from Argentina

One of the most fascinating and compelling reasons for diving into the treasure trove of New World wines lies not just in the drum-roll of longer established flagship varieties and styles, but also with the emerging stars awaiting discovery.

 

Argentina Vineyard and Winery Tours

The Uco Valley covers a vast area, and visiting the bodegas requires a little forward planning. There are basically two options: organise it yourself, or join a tour. In this guide, we’ll look at some of the options for tours, as well as some reputable tour companies.

 

Putting the ‘Tude in Altitude – Argentina Winemaking

Millions of years ago the Highlands of Scotland were as high as the Himalayas until steadily worn down by winter snow, ice and rain. Today they peak at a modest 4,409 feet in the shape of Ben Nevis whose summit is a relatively easy climb that does not require oxygen. Still it’s more impressive than Holland’s highest point which is apparently somewhere in the middle of a supermarket car-park. If you live in a comparatively flat country like Britain, it is hard to really imagine the effect of altitude, unless you travel. For me it hit home when back-packing through Bolivia years ago. I will never forget…

 
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