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Tohr-Ron-Tez Torrontés refers to a small family of white wine grapes, primarily grown in Argentina. It has become pretty much synonymous with white wine production in the country. The most prominent varietals within the Torrontés family are Torrontés Sanjuanino, Torrontés Mendocino and Torrontés Riojano. There are two schools of thought when it comes to the origins of Torrontés. It is worth keeping in mind that vines are not indigenous to Argentina, and the majority of vines were introduced by Spain in the colonial era. However, some believe that Torrontés came to Argentina from Spain directly, while others suggest that it arose in Argentina, from crossbreeding between Muscat and Criolla. On the vine, Torrontés’ fruits are large and thick-skinned. They are susceptible to mildew but are most commonly grown in harsh climates, influenced by the Andes Mountain Range. In these dry, high-elevation terroirs, pests struggle to survive, so Torrontés can grow unhindered.

Torrontés Tasting Notes

Torrontés is crisp, aromatic and moderately acidic, though some examples grown in the Andes Mountain Range can develop high levels of acidity. Torrentés appears as a pale lemon color in the glass. It’s generally low to medium bodied, and fairly high in alcohol, ranging between 11.5-13.5% ABV. It has an intense bouquet and like Riesling or Gewurztraminer, it can be perceived as sweet on first impression. However, it is almost always made in a dry style. Its flavour profile is dominated by citrus and stone fruits, along with floral notes. Expect flavours of lemon peel, peach, apricot, rose petals, geranium and white flowers.

Torrontés Styles

Torrontés is almost always made in a dry style, but there are some notable differences between its three main varietals. Torrontés Riojano is widely considered to be the best Torrontés varietal, with the most potential for high-quality wines. It is also the most aromatic. Torrontés Sanjuanino comes in a close second and is also considered to be a highly aromatic wine. Cultivation of this varietal is centered around the San Juan region of Argentina. Torrontés Mendocino is the least aromatic Torrontés, and its grapes are often consumed simply as grapes, without being made into wine. Its parentage is debated, and it may have a slightly different family tree to the other main varietals. Torrentés is also grown in small amounts in Chile, where it is used to produce the fortified wine called “Pisco”.

When To Drink Torrontés

Due to its crisp and refreshing nature, Torrontés is a fantastic wine for sunny summer days. It’s a great pairing for lighter dishes, such as summery salads, and Argentinian finger food. Like most aromatic white wines, it’s also a great pairing for spicy Asian cuisine and a great choice for a takeaway night with the family. Torrontés shows generous aromas without any breathing, so there is no need to decant it before serving. It’s best when served well chilled, at around 38-45ºF (3-7 ºC).

Best Years To Drink Torrontés

Torrontés is not made for aging. Its refreshing profile and fruity flavours tend to just fade away over time, rather than developing any interesting characteristics. It’s a vibrant, youthful wine, best enjoyed within a year of its vintage. It may be kept in a cellar, but for 2-3 years maximum.

Torrontés Average Prices

In the search for affordable, high-quality wines, Torrontés is a treasure trove. For a little over $30, you can get a critically acclaimed version from Cafayate Valley, which is one of the most high-elevation regions in the world. However, on average, 90+ rated Argentinian Torrontés will only cost about $10-20.

Torrontés Nutrition Facts

A glass of single-varietal Torrontés will contain approximately:
  • 113 calories
  • 1.6 grams of carbohydrates
  • 0.1 grams of protein

Fun Facts About Torrontés

Until a recent DNA test proved otherwise, it was believed that Albillo Mayor, the white wine grape grown in Spain, was the same varietal as Argentinian Torrentés. Torrontés is a distinctly South American grape and is also being grown in small amounts across Uruguay, Chile, Brazil and Bolivia. Although Torrontés is Argentina’s flagship white grape, statistics from 2012 show that it is the second most planted white varietal in the country, after the Pedro Giménez grape.