Torrontes – The new Australian White

The cultivar ‘Torrontés’ (Vitis vinifera L.) first introduced in Australia by St Ignatius Vineyard in 2000, was derived from a cross of ‘Muscat of Alexandria’ and ‘Criolla Chica’ of Argentina. We are the first to pioneer its production and commercialisation in Australia.

Being the only wine variety considered 100% Argentine, Torrontés is cultivated in all the wine regions of that country, from Salta to Rio Negro. Torrontés is readily associated with Argentina. There are three types of Torrontés: Riojano, Sanjuanino and Mendocino. The Riojana clonal variety (the clone St Ignatius have introduced via AQUIS), the most representative of the three, is used to make the Cafayate Torrontés (from Salta) and, of course, the La Rioja wines. Wines made with this variety have received many international awards because its taste -so different from other white wines- has seduced wine tasters around the world.

Its origin has been an issue of broad-ranging discussion amongst many wine experts, but its relationship to the Europe Mediterranean Muscat is undeniable. A proof of this bond is its fragrant and unmistakable aroma, resembling roses, jasmine and geranium, with occasional spicy essences. The first cultivation of Torrontés dates back from the times of the Spanish Conquerors. Recently, it has been elaborated as sparkling and fortified wine, with excellent results in both cases.

Torrontés produces a unique symbiosis with spicy food and Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai dishes. It pairs marvelously with Northern Argentinean food, such as the typical ’empanadas’ and ‘corn stew’.  Try it now before we run out!