Argentina is well known as a wine country but most of the vines were brought here by immigrants. European immigration in 19th century made Argentina the country with the second largest number of immigrants, with 12,6 million people right after the Unites States. Most of the people came from Italy, Spain and a smaller amount from Great Britain. They brought with them the culture, food and customs. Many of the families who grew wines in Europe continued to do so in Argentina.
Malbec – comes from France, Bordeaux region. In there is it called Auxerrois or Cot Noit. It was brought to Argentina by French agricultural engineer Michel Pouget in 1868 and is now the most grown grape in Argentina. In 1956 when frost killed off 75% of the crop in France they took plants back from Argentina so it is very common in Argentina to say that they have the original Malbec.
Torrontés – The only grape that is originally from Argentina. There are 3 different types of Torrontés: Torrontés Riojano – the most common, Torrontés Sanjuanino, and Torrontés Mendocino. Torrontés: is a crossing of Mission (originally reported as Criolla Chica) and Muscat of Alexandria. Criolla grape is more known as a grape for eating rather than making wine. It was thought for long that it is the same grape as Torrontés from Galicia, Spain but DNI tests showed no relations between those two grapes.
Bonarda – Also known as Douce noir, comes Savoie wine region of eastern France. It is now more widely grown in Argentina and can be found in California as Charbono. It was thought that Bonarda in Agrentina is Bonarda Piemonteseis from Italy but in 21st century it was proven to be wrong.
Syrah – From the southern part of France. It is not very windely grown in Argentina but is gaining more popularity. In Australia Syrah is called Shiraz so often people use both names.
Cabernet Sauvignon – comes from Bordeaux region, France. It is one of the worlds most grown grapes. Cabernet Sauvignon was born in 17th century as a crossing between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon blanc. Argentine Cabernet Sauvignon has had some international attention because it was also planted in a higher altitudes in Uco Valley of the Mendoza Province and it is fairly new thing to do.
Chardonnay – Comes from Burgundy wine region of eastern France. Modern DNA fingerprinting research at University of California, Davis, now suggests that Chardonnay is the result of a cross between the Pinot and Gouais blanc (Heunisch) grape varieties.
Merlot – It comes from a Bordeaux wine region in France. It was one of the first ones the primary grapes used in Bordeaux wines. In Argentina the wine is harvested later than is France and therefore the result is quite different. Instead of having a medium-bodied easy to drink wine in Argentina Merlot is often more full-bodied, intense and has a dark purple color.
Pinot Noir – Comes from Burgundy region, France but is very widely grown in California, Oregon, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. In Argentina less but you can find some example from Patagonia where the climate is more suitable for Pinot Noir.
Tempranillo – Spanish grape that has been grown on the Iberian Peninsula since the time of Phoenician settlements. It is very popular in Rioja, one of the most important wine regions in Spain. It is also very popular all around the world and so in Argentina.
Sangiovese – Red Italian wine grape that represents the Italian immigration to Argentina. It is not widely grown in Argentina and most of it is for export.