Torrontes

Name of varietal: Torrontes (of Argentina, not the unrelated variety from Galicia which is also often referred to as Torrontes)

Common synonyms: Malvasia, Torrontel, Torrontel Riojano

Parentage of the grape: Torrontes is really three closely related grape varieties -- Torrontés Riojano, the most common, Torrontés Sanjuanino, and Torrontés Mendocino. The most important and common one is Torrontes Riojano. All three are the product of a crossing between Muscat of Alexandria and Criolla Chica (Mission).

History of the grape: Torrontes is Argentina’s only truly indigenous grape. One of its parents, Criolla Chica, was probably brought by missionaries. It has become Argentina’s signature white variety.

Characteristics of the grape: Torrontes Riojano is the most distinctive and worthwhile sibling of the three. It is highly aromatic -- floral, spicy, and exotic.

Regions where the grape currently is important: La Rioja and Salta in Argentina

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