While Argentinian wines are typically associated with Malbec reds from Mendoza or Torrontés white wines of Salta and Cafayate, the country’s capital, Buenos Aires, has a wine making pedigree of its own -although a rather new one at that, since the province only started producing premium wines during the first decade of the 21st century
Despite most of Argentina’s vineyards being clustered on the foothills of the Andes mountain ranges, Buenos Aires wine is largely produced in the southern part of the province, specially around Médanos. Médanos was previously dedicated to the farming of garlic and pastures, but the region’s grape-friendly terroir and the devotion of Buenos Aires wine makers has brought some excellent styles to the attention of international audiences – winning a silver medal at the coveted 2009 Decanter World Wine Awards, the world’s largest wine contest celebrated in London.
The styles of wine Buenos Aires produces are a consequence of the soils and climate in the Médanos region, which features a sandy terroir with lengthy sunshine - creating grapes with high-sugar content while cool ocean breezes toughen the skins to enhance colour. Médanos is the only region in Argentina dedicated to the production of premium wines with an oceanic influence.
Among the most celebrated Buenos Aires wine estates is Al Este Bodega y Viñedos, which has received world recognition for its Chardonnay under the direction of renowned Italian wine maker Alberto Antonini. Buenos Aires wines from Médanos use a variety of different grapes in their production; Syrah is the most widely planted along with Argentinian staples such as Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc – but there are also some less well-known varieties such as Alvarinho and the ancient Cesar grape.
As a consequence of its European upbringing, wine has been cultivated in Argentina since the Spanish explorers arrived in the early 16th century. Originally, production was preoccupied with quantity but escalating quality in more recent times has earned the country international acclaim on the wine scene.
Following the rise of Argentina wine, Buenos Aires has come to unearth the creative potential of degustación (wine tasting) with more and more tours of the city’s bodegas and wine bars. And, with the country bestowed with more Wine of the Year awards than anywhere else in the world by the influential Decanter magazine, and wine recently being named as Argentina’s national drink, there is no better time to travel to Buenos Aires.
Argentina’s capital is already heavily influenced by Europeans, with characteristics including the fading colonial architecture, an expressive arts culture and innovative cuisine leading to the city sometimes being referred to as the ‘Paris of South America’. Tasting wine Buenos Aires-style usually takes visitors to various bodegas and chic wine bars in interesting neighbourhoods across the city - including the fashionable districts of Palermo Soho and Hollywood - together with a local sommelier to guide tours, which are often accompanied by pairings with local cuisine.
At Wine Paths, our local expert can organise exclusive tours of estates producing the best wine Buenos Aires has to offer, including elaborate tastings, luxury stays, guided tours of the city, fine dining experiences and unique activities. All of our private tours can be tailor-made to meet your specific requirements, ensuring every detail is taken care of so that you can relax and revel in South America’s finest wines. As well as organising tours of the city itself, Wine Paths can arrange excursions to some of the country’s most prominent wine-making regions, including sampling the famed red wines in Mendoza, or visiting the untamed Salta region where incredible white are made from grapes unique to the country.
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