words by enrique diaz

Winemaker Enrique Diaz explains his fascination with the Torrontés grape variety and why he chose to bring it to Australia.

The story of the Torrontés is the reflection of a very intimate personal journey; a story which stems from the roots of my childhood and extends to my love for the land.

I was born and educated in Argentina. Early in my childhood I was introduced to the land – The Pampas of Argentina – by a relative of mine, Uncle Ernesto. I fondly recall my experiences in this new environment, a world away from the city life of Buenos Aires. Ernesto often remarked that the vast open landscape of the Pampas gave him a great sense of freedom. I sensed his love for the land. That philosophy has had a profound effect on me. I sought to be like him, to have a good life, a big family and to be liberated from the confines of the city. Since then, I have remained connected to the land, either directly or indirectly, in the many places I have lived and worked.

Naturally, given my background, I chose to ‘roll the dice’ in 2000 and imported two iconic varietals of Argentina – Malbec and Torrontés. To be sure, there were obstacles along the way, not least of which was the Millennium Drought. In addition, I encountered many difficulties from budburst to fruit setting and fruit maturation, which required me to adapt my viticultural practices. That is not to mention learning the winemaking practices that are unique to this varietal.

These challenges notwithstanding, I have now propagated and planted more than 2 acres (and counting) of Torrontés on our property – St Ignatius Vineyard. Much to my delight, the fruit is truly unique, with its distinctive floral aroma and apricot characters – and the vines remarkably productive. This is a journey that I have shared with my family – together we have aspired to do something that is genuinely authentic. In the process, we have created a business that invests in quality and strives to differentiate itself in the marketplace.

Taking advantage of our distinctive terroir, we are now embracing the challenge of adapting varietals that are characteristically Argentinian to the local Australian environment. In many ways, the most exciting part of the journey has just begun; that is, the point at which our ambitious plans come to fruition. In 2010, we released our first vintage of Torrontés, sold exclusively through our cellar door. Over the years we have fine-tuned the process and experimented with a novel frizzante style that is most popular amongst our loyal customers.

Interestingly, the origin of Torrontés 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 Conquistadors, and ever since it became one of the most cultivated grape varieties of Argentina. Recently, its use has been expanded to include sparkling and fortified wine, with excellent results in both cases.

Torrontés unique style matches with spicy food and Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai dishes. It also pairs marvellously with Northern Argentinean food, such as the typical empanadas and corn stew.

This article was published on Wine Showcase Magazine – December 2021 Issue

St Ignatius Vineyard – Victoria – Australia © Copyright 2021

Do you want to win a double pass to SPRING YVACCA?

We have 10 double day passes (valued $25 each) to the YVACCA Fair to give away to the first 10 participants!

For the chance to win a double pass, simply tell us which is your favourite St Ignatius wine? Write a Facebook review or visit us at the cellar door this weekend.

Yarra Valley Arts, Crafts & Antiques Expo at Yarra Glen Racecourse is just an hour’s drive from the centre of Melbourne. Come and see us on Saturday October 19th & Sunday October 20th, 2019.


Take the opportunity to observe highly skilled artisans including blacksmiths, jewellers and wood-turners at work.

You will find an amazing range of stalls offering the creations of hundreds of skilled workers offering everything from oil and water colour paintings, fine gold and silver jewellery, beautiful sculpture, leather goods including hand sown jackets and trousers, fine adult’s and children’s clothing and much, much more.

The Antiques

Come and browse 1000s of antique, collectable and vintage items being offered by sellers from Melbourne & interstate.

It’s amazing what you may find including antiquities from Georgian, Victorian & Edwardian times. Lots of great Art Nouveau, Art Deco & much more from the 50s, 60s, 70s & 80s.

The Fine Wine and beer Pavilion

Your taste buds will be tempted by the wines and beers on display

The produce of Victoria’s finest vineyards and craft breweries on display in the Fine Wine & Beer pavilion. Take the time to chat with the winemakers on site.

Remember to sample the gourmet delicacies on display and meet the passionate producers behind their wonderful products when you visit YVACCA Saturday October 19th & Sunday October 20th.

You are invited to follow the signs at YVACCA and explore the outstanding displays of  quality wines, beers and spirits produced by Victoria’s top winemakers and brewers.

Entry to The Fine Wine, Cheese & Beer Pavilion is restricted to persons 18 years of age and over. Proof of identity may be required. 

There is a $10.00 door charge for entry into The Fine Wine, Cheese & Beer Pavilion which includes carry bag, fine glass YVACCA tasting glass plus four tickets to AUTUMN YVACCA March 14 & 15 2020. Total value $45.00.

As Clifton Fadiman so eloquently put it: “to take wine into our mouths is to savour a droplet of the river of human history.”

In many ways, the pleasure of drinking wine comes from its simplicity. There is no sensual experience quite like rejoicing with fine wine.

It is this attribute that makes premium wine a precious commodity – turning every meal into an occasion and making every day more pleasant.

What does drinking intelligently mean to us?

To drink intelligently is to appreciate quality rather than to indulge in quantity. It is to learn that tasting a little and enjoying the experience brings more satisfaction than any excess.

Drinking intelligently means sharing wine with family and friends. It means to celebrate times of jubilation rather than to supplement moments of anger or misfortune. And, as with all things special, it is enjoyed in moderation.

In many respects, this reflects how we should approach our lives more broadly. Gratification and fulfillment will come in puddles, not in lakes, and we are always searching for balance and happiness. Thus, as we learn to appreciate wine – to become intelligent drinkers – we will develop habits that enrich our lives.

Why does it matter to us?

Quite reasonably, you might wonder why our winery would advocate for drinking in moderation. Well, let us be transparent with you…

We believe firmly that quality should be our only concern and that drinking wine should be a memorable and joyous experience.

We don’t see a world of rampant wine consumerism as necessary, healthy or sustainable. Instead, we view our customers as discerning individuals with a taste for quality. We believe that you appreciate drinking fine wine and that together we share this view.

Some hints that may help you enjoy drinking wine

♣ Serve a small amount into your glass – appreciate the colour and explore the aroma.

♣ Have a small sip – allow the wine to fill your mouth and arouse your senses.

♣ Identify the flavour, structure and profile of the wine – observing how the wine evolves from the front palate through to the finish.

♣ Allow your glass to rest on the table – this is an act that highlights the pleasure, extends the experience and allows us to avoid excess.

♣ Don’t open more bottles than is necessary – this will help you drink moderately and look after the hip-pocket.

And remember…a glass of wine does well, but too many more and all the joy is gone!

Curious mind? If you’re interested in some further reading, see these articles by Madeline Puckette: Good wine and healthy living & Learning how to taste and develop your palate.