When you walk into a wine store and start browsing through the various California, Washington, Spain and France sections, you likely wonder to yourself, "How much does a particular region matter when choosing a wine?" The easy answer is different grape varietals grow better in different places, so if you're fond of one varietal, you’re likely to eventually find a favorite region to buy it from.


The longer answer is that each type of grape can be more or less successful within any region based on a myriad of factors—from the growing techniques to whether the vineyard is in a gully versus on a hill. That being said, some regions simply have a reputation for growers who take better care of their grapes than others and are celebrated for that success. 

[Piattelli's winery in Salta, Argentina / Piattelli Vineyards]

In Argentina, Malbec has succeeded far more than it has in Australia, South Africa, California, or in France where it originated. Torrontés has become a unique and booming varietal that can hardly be grown well anywhere outside of the northwest part of Argentina. Even Cabernet Sauvignon, one of the most widely grown varietals in the world, has had strong success here. 

The advantages that Argentina has include:

  • High altitude: From 3,000-7,000 feet, the air is clear, and dry and the temperatures fluctuate drastically from day to night, helping sugars grow in grapes.
  • Hillside vineyards: Lower odds of frost damaging a crop and maximizes sunshine exposure.
  • Andes Mountains: They shield Argentina from precipitation drifting from the Pacific Ocean, decreasing the possibility of fungus in grapes and keeping the soil poor to stress the grapes further. Low precipitation in turn keeps the pest population down.
  • Low population density - The two regions where Piattelli wineries are located, Salta and Mendoza, have low population density and not much industry nearby. This keeps the air and waters clean.

These combine to make for one of the best growing climates - or terroirs - in the world. The climate has always been there, but now with the introduction of advanced winemaking equipment and techniques in the past 15 years, the world is finally able to enjoy the fruits of our labor – pun intended.


So, the next time you're wandering the aisles of the wine shop, try your favorite varietal from your favorite region and look for a version of that wine from Argentina (better yet from Piattelli), and see if you can taste the difference!


Until next time, I wish you good times with family and friends,


- Valeria


My name is Valeria Antolin and I'm the principal winemaker for Piattelli Vineyards. Our lead winemaker in our Salta vineyards, Alejandro Nesman, and I will be updating educational content for you all to enjoy on this site. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about our winery and visit our WineTable profile.


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