Torrontés is an aromatic white grape variety primarily grown in the high altitude regions of Argentina, which are among some of the highest vineyards in the world. Hailed as the country’s signature grape, Torrontés is grown in Salta, La Rioja, San Juan, and Mendoza. Due to the fresh and perfumed wine these grapes create, winemakers take great care to protect its natural flavors of fresh delicious fruit and and floral aromas.
This grape produces wine with a medium body, medium acidity, and medium alcohol. It is known for its citrus and stone fruit flavors, including lemon, lime, apricot, peach, and nectarine. As an aromatic variety, it also has noted perfume flavors of flower and rose. Many winemakers prefer to preserve the natural fruity and floral notes of aromatic grapes like Torrontés without using heavy wine-making techniques that could mask their natural flavors. Therefore, Torrontés grapes are carefully handled in the winery in a “reductive” manner, limiting their exposure to oxygen and other agents that could interfere with their delicate aromas.
The Highest Vineyards in the World
The elevated areas of land by the Andes Mountains are viable vineyard options for hot places where viticulture could be otherwise be impossible. In this region, some of the mountains reach 3,000 meters above sea level! In fact, the vineyards are so high that the Torrontés grapes have to be shielded from damaging sun rays. Vines are often trained in a pergola system where the grapes hang low, allowing the leaves to protect the berries from damaging light. Premium expressions of Torrontés wine are found in Salta’s Cafayate region.
Because Torrontés has delicate flavors, it is best paired with foods that aren’t too strong or overwhelming. It partners well with baked chicken, roasted pork, and white meats in light sauces. As for seafood, it compliments white fish, ceviche, and shrimp skewers entrees. Its floral notes are ideal for spicy foods like chicken curry or hot Spanish tapas. Salads, charcuterie boards, roasted vegetables and tofu also pair quite well with the aromatic grape.
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