Katherine’s Visit to Argentina, Part One

I had the most wonderful opportunity to travel to Argentina at the beginning of January this year!  The weather there this time of year is sunny and beautiful with daytime temperatures in the 80′s going down to the 50′s at night.  I was amazed at how many wineries are cropping up there, and was told that real estate prices are beginning to skyrocket.  Everyone is planting Malbec!  I cannot believe the huge demand for these wines, not only in the USA, but in many other countries, as well.  It surprised me to find out that Brazil is one of their biggest markets.  It was very interesting to visit several vineyards which had completely different terrain and environmental influences.

The first place we went to was Finca Abril, which is located in the Uco Valley of Southern Mendoza.  There they receive water only one day per week via aqueducts, which is released from reservoirs that hold the melting ice from the Andes Mountains.  The altitude there is 4,000 feet and there is a layer of soil that sits on top of layers of rock and stone. One thing that really creates a challange for these winemakers are hailstorms.  They can come out of nowhere, even in summer, and destroy an entire crop. Netting is used to cover the grapevines in order to help prevent damage.

Netting is used to prevent damage from hail storms

The Malbecs we tasted were outstanding, but in addition they are producing great Cabernet Sauvignons, Syrahs and Merlots.  Bonarda is another red grape that is becoming a new and exciting wine.  The Argentine winemakers are coming out with some fabulous red blends and high-end productions, as well. At this time, Argentine wines are some of my favorites to drink and I recommend them for great quality at bargain prices.  Currently, we carry the 2007 Alhambra Reserve Malbec from Finca Abril.

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Click here to see a selection of the delicious wines we carry from Argentina.

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