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While today it can be said that the wines made from Torrontes grapes areglobally known as typical products from Argentina very little is knownabout the grape that gives origin to these fresh and fragrant whitewines According to the OIV report Argentina is the fifth largest wineproducing country in the world In the last decades a real revolutionhas changed dramatically its viticulture and nology and made the winesproduced on the slopes of the Eastern Andes acquire great relevance Descendants of European parents born in America are called Criollos andwithin this classification we can also include the varieties thatarrived as seeds These varieties differ in their morphologyphysiology and wine-making properties from the traditional Europeanrelatives If today 36 of the vines grown in Argentina are localvarieties generically called Criollas in 1990 the share of vineyardsplanted with these grapes was exactly the reverse These varieties were first introduced in Argentina by the Spanishconquerors when they arrived in the New World It is said that Catholicpriests began planting vines as early as 1556 in the province ofSantiago del Estero to obtain wine for their Masses Later vines wereplanted on the foothills of the Andes Mountains in the provinces ofMendoza and San Juan Among these early planted varieties is Torrontes To slightly complicatethe picture there is actually not one but three varieties calledTorrontes all grown since the colonial era in Argentina and bearing nosimilarity with the Torrontes of European originThe common name led several wine growers and wine consumers to believethat Torrontes was only one grape that when cultivated in differentregions took the name of the place If it was grown in the province ofLa Rioja it would be called Torrontes Riojano if in San JuanTorrontes Sanjuanino and if in Mendoza Torrontes Mendocino There aresome wine writers that also wrongly speak about Torrontes Salteno torefer to the one grown in the province of Salta This is not quiteaccurate because now we know that they are three different varieties ofgrapeTorrontes Riojano has
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