How Argentina is producing more white wine

How Argentina is producing more white wine

While Argentina is generally associated with Malbec, in 2018 it’s making big strides in white wine. Winemakers across Argentina are producing a wide range of fruit driven white wines and show no signs of slowing down.

Recently Wines of Argentina invited 41 Masters of Wine from across the globe for the first tour since 1988. They found out that the wine industry in Argentina has made massive leaps forward over the last few years, with a high amount of investment in modern wine-making facilities.

Synonymous with red

Malbec was introduced to Argentina in 1860, with plantings peaking at 60,00 hectares one hundred years later. Between 1970 and 1990 this dropped to 20,000 hectares, but in 2018 it’s back up to around 40,000 hectares.

Out of the newer plantings, 88% are in Mendoza and Malbec has become synonymous with Argentina in the same way Sauvignon Blanc has with New Zealand.

Developing fast

While the average consumer may still associate Argentina with red wines, its most recent development has been with whites. Even ten years ago most buyers would not have looked at the country as a decent source of anything other than cheaper wines made mostly from Chenin Blanc, or perhaps a heavy Chardonnay similar to the Californian wines popular in the 1980s.

Since then wine producers in Argentina have moved with the changing tastes and pushed their previous boundaries by planting vineyards in new sites, some that were considered not viable a few years ago.

White grape plantings in 2017

Argentina’s white grape variety plantings last year were as follows:

  • 8,200ha Torrontes Riojana
  • 6,100ha Chardonnay
  • 2,650ha Moscatel
  • 2,100ha Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1,550ha Ugni Blanc
  • 780ha Viognier
  • 750ha Semillon