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Argentine wine: A journey through history, culture and terroir

September 11, 2023

Argentina, a land of diverse landscapes and rich traditions, has emerged as a wine nation of global acclaim. Its wines, renowned for their unique character and exceptional quality, have captured the interests of wine enthusiasts worldwide.

The roots of Argentine wine can be traced back to the 16th century when Spanish conquistadors first introduced grapevines to the fertile soil of the Mendoza region. These early plantings were a precursor to the vibrant wine culture that would flourish over the centuries.

However, it was not until the mid-19th century that Argentina truly began to establish itself as a wine-producing powerhouse. Italian and French immigrants, lured by the promise of fertile lands, brought their viticultural expertise with them. This influx of knowledge and experience would prove instrumental in shaping Argentina’s wine landscape.

Malbec: Argentina’s crown jewel

One grape variety stands out as the emblematic star of Argentine wine—malbec. Originally from France, the malbec grape found its true home in the high-altitude vineyards of Mendoza. The unique combination of high elevation, ample sunlight, dry climate and well-drained soils breathed new life into this grape variety.

It quickly garnered international recognition, becoming the country’s signature varietal. Argentine malbec’s appeal lies in its velvety rich texture, vibrant acidity and bold flavoured notes of dark fruit, plum and subtle hints of spice.

Terroir: The Argentine advantage

Argentina’s claim to wine fame is not solely due to malbec or historical happenstance; it’s deeply rooted in its terroir. The country’s diverse geography offers an array of microclimates, elevations and soil types—a winemaker’s dream.

The heart of Argentina’s wine production is the Mendoza region, where the Andes Mountains cast a protective rain shadow over the vineyards. High-altitude vineyards, some reaching over 3,000 feet above sea level, are a hallmark of Argentine viticulture. The combination of intense sunlight, cool nights and minimal rainfall at these heights fosters grapes with concentrated flavours and balanced acidity.

The malbec grown here thrives in the unique terroir, resulting in wines that reflect the essence of the land. These high-altitude vineyards are complemented by those in other regions like Salta, San Juan, and Patagonia, each offering its distinct terroir and grape varieties, adding to Argentina’s diverse wine tapestry.

Sustainability and innovation

As Argentine wine gained international acclaim, the industry embraced sustainability and innovation. Many wineries adopted eco-friendly practices, from organic and biodynamic farming to responsible water management. In fact, Argentina’s dry, sunny climate means disease pressure is minimal, lending itself to organic viticulture. This commitment to sustainability not only preserves the environment but also enhances the quality of the wines.

Innovative winemaking techniques, such as micro-vinification and the use of modern technology, have propelled Argentina to the forefront of the global wine stage. Winemakers blend tradition with innovation to craft wines that capture the essence of their terroir while meeting modern expectations of quality and consistency.

Argentine Wine
Argentina on the world stage

Today, Argentine wine stands proudly on the world stage, with a presence in over 150 countries. It has garnered numerous international awards and accolades, solidifying its reputation as a premiere wine nation. The appeal of Argentine wine lies not only in its production and popularity of malbec but also in its diverse portfolio of grape varieties, including cabernet sauvignon, torrontés, and bonarda, each expressing the country’s terroir in its unique way.

It’s a captivating narrative of perseverance, innovation and a deep connection to the land. The unique terroir of Argentina, coupled with its passionate embrace of wine as a cultural cornerstone, has propelled it into the upper ranks of the wine world. As you raise your glass to toast Argentine wine, you’re not merely savouring a beverage; you’re experiencing the essence of a nation, the soul of its people, and the embodiment of its extraordinary terroir.

The below wines are either currently on sale or offering bonus Aeroplan points via the LCBO in Ontario:

Domaine Bousquet Premium Organic Malbec

Deep violet in colour. On the nose, this wine presents intense aromas of blackberry with notes of black raisins and plum. On the palate, balanced and elegant, with a profile of red and black fruits and notes of fig and chocolate.

La Mascota Cabernet Sauvignon

A lovely cabernet, displaying a deep red colour with hints of violet and aromas of licorice, cassis, cherries and an elegant touch of spice. It’s full-bodied, complex and ideal to pair with pasta, red grilled meats and stews.

Trapiche Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

This dark-coloured cabernet displays aromas of plum, berries and a touch of licorice. In the mouth, the presence of blackberries and chocolate with subtle toasted notes make this a very pleasurable drinking wine that’s fresh and clean on the palate.

Trapiche Reserve Malbec

A wine displaying fruity aromas of plum and cherry. In the mouth it is round, with notes of vanilla and truffle.

Crios Torrontés

A crisp, refreshing and aromatic torrontés with notes of citrus, passion fruit, lychee and white flowers. It has lively acidity, a hint of creaminess and a long finish that adds depth and balance to the palate.

Don David Reserve Malbec

An elegant wine with vivacious red colour and violet sparkles. Deep and shiny. Aromatic with plum jam and raisins combined with tobacco and subtle notes of chocolate. Tannins are soft, presenting drying fruits and chocolate flavours on the palate. Long and persistent bouquet.

Finca Las Moras Pinot Grigio

Medium bodied with intense aromas of white peaches, pears and apricots over a richened floral bouquet. This is a refreshing wine that’s lively and crisp with a pleasant balance and a perfect combination of acidity and sweetness.

Pascual Toso Limited Edition Malbec

Clean and fruitful on the nose with plums, quince and a touch of elegant oak. The palate is richly flavoured, with blackberry and licorice. The finish is long with smoky accents of vanilla and lingering oak. Enjoy this with pasta or red and white meats.


– Written with the participation of Wines of Argentina


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