News

Happy Thanksgiving From Everyone @ Cove Ledge

Well it’s time!!

Time to celebrate with family and friends, time to enjoy great food, and what pairs better with great food?  Oh yes great wine and spirits!  Keith and I have been working round the clock to fill the shop with something for everyone.  And it all kicks off this week with the Turkey!!

No matter how you celebrate your holidays come on in and say hello.  We will help you find the perfect wine to match whatever you maybe cooking up in the kitchen.  Not cooking you say?  Well we also can help you bring an amazing gift bottle to the host of wherever you may be going.

Wednesday we celebrate Stonington Homecoming w Boulevard Brewing. They will be here to taste our customers on some amazing craft beers.  Sessions, Sours, Bourbon aged Quad, and Ryes OH MY!!

The Flower Belle will be here with her amazing floral arrangements to go!!! She will be happy to create some stunning centerpieces for your holiday table.

And as always Keith and I will be here to help you put the finishing touches on the perfect table.

Thursday we will be closed to celebrate the holiday with our families and friends

Friday we will be Open from noon till 8pm

Saturday  “It’s time to shop local”… Keith and I will open up the vaults and release all the bourbons, and single malts we have been saving and collecting all summer.  Join us as we taste our very own bourbon that we purchased from Wyoming Whiskey… It can only be purchased here at Cove Ledge and its a special little gem if I do say so myself.  These gifts will be  for our customers that want  little something special for the person that is hard to shop for.

It all begins @ 4:30pm  on Wednesday  but dont wait too long.

 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!

Annette & Keith

“Wine is our passion, but being part of this community is a life long commitment that we consider to be both an honor and a privilege”. 

 

 

 

November 2016

Welcome Wine Club Members,

Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving from Cove Ledge!  

It’s November and that means a new wine of the Month is ready to be enjoyed and accompany you on your Wine Journey.

Some of the best wines in the world are blends of several grape varieties.  We are thankful this month to offer you two fantastic blends from – California!

Thanksgiving being as traditional as it is, you may already have your own favorite wine pairing for turkey but if you’re looking for inspiration here are two fantastic matches.

Remember Thanksgiving dinner is not just about the bird but the flavorful stuffing, sauces and sides that go with it; so what you want is a wine with plenty of flavor to match!

The red is a beautiful Côtes du Rhône-style GSM (grenache, syrah, mourvèdre) inspired Blend from Tablas Creek Paso Robles. The combination of 3 varieties, –Grenache, Syrah and Mourvédre,– make up the majority of the blend. Because of the mishmash of varieties, you’ll taste both red and black fruit flavors and find a range of medium to full-bodied flavor. These wines are a perfect match for a rich piece of meat because of their complexity. And yet, they are still light enough for poultry.

The white is lovely blend of Chenin blanc and Viogner  (another Rhone Valley varietal favorite). The combination of these two grapes provides a wine that is both aromatic and refreshing. The clean, vibrant palate enters with juicy peach and honeyed tangerine fruits, balanced by vibrant acidity and hints of yellow apple and key lime pie that last through the crisp and refreshing finish.

Both wines will pair nicely with your Thanksgiving Feast for sure… Or simply take the opportunity to uncork, unwind and take a time out from the start of the holiday rush by enjoying a glass of these lovely wine blends with family and friends.

Thank you for your continued patronage. As always, we hope that you enjoy this month’s selection!  “Wine is our passion, but being part of the community is a life long commitment that we consider a privilege and an honor”.

Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving. ☺  

Annette & Keith



november_red

 

In Store Price:  $17.99 / btl

Wine Club Member Price:  $16.99/ btl

Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Rouge 2014

Paso Robles, Central Coast, California

The Tablas Creek Vineyard Patelin de Tablas is a blend of four red Rhône varietals: Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Counoise. The wine incorporates fruit from several of the top Rhône vineyards in Paso Robles, each vineyard selected for its quality. Like many red wines from the Rhône Valley, it is based on the dark fruit, mineral and spice of Syrah, with the brightness and fresh acidity of Grenache, the structure and meatiness of Mourvèdre and a small addition of Counoise for complexity.

Grapes for the Patelin de Tablas are sourced from four regions in Paso Robles. Three are limestone-rich: the warmer, higher-elevation Adelaida Hills near Tablas Creek, the cool, coastal-influenced Templeton Gap to our south, and the moderate, hilly El Pomar to our south-east.  These regions provide structured, mineral-laced fruit and excellent acidity. 

Tablas Creek also sources fruit from the warmer heartland of the Paso Robles AVA: the Estrella District, whose mixed sandy loam soils produce juicy, darkly-fruited Syrah.

TASTING NOTES

The 2014 Patelin de Tablas has a dark, Syrah-driven nose that is creamy, meaty, minerally, and a little bit wild. A little blue fruit lurks underneath and comes out with air. The mouth shows both Grenache and Syrah’s influence, with black plum, boysenberry, chalky minerality and nice powdered sugar tannins that come out on the finish.

Decant if you’re drinking now, or age for up to a decade for secondary and tertiary flavors of meat and earth.

Blend: 55% Syrah, 29% Grenache, 10% Mourvedre, 6% Counoise

Critical Acclaim

WE92 
Wine Enthusiast – “This blend of 55% Syrah, 29% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre and 6% Counoise offers boisterous yet elegant aromas of blackberry, boysenberry and dried violet that are met with hints of crushed marjoram and white pepper. Once sipped, mulberry and exotic plum flavors mesh with wild mint on a brooding yet bright and fresh palate.

Editors’ Choice. “
V91 
Vinous / Antonio Galloni – “Brilliant red. High-pitched aromas of ripe red berries, cherry and fresh flowers; bright mineral and peppery spice scents build in the glass. Energetic and appealingly sweet, offering intense raspberry and lavender pastille flavors that are sharpened and lifted by tangy acidity. Silky tannins give shape to the clinging finish, which leaves notes of allspice and minerals behind. There’s fabulous value here.”

 november_white                 

In Store Price:  $12.99 / btl

Wine Club Member Price:  $11.99/ btl

Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc – Viognier 2014

Central Valley, California

The 2014 release of this intriguing blend delights the nose with a charming bouquet of enticing aromas of fresh Meyer lemon, fuzzy peach, ripe honeydew melon and yellow plum, mingled with touches of citrus blossom and white tea. The clean, vibrant palate enters with juicy pomelo, sweet lychee and honeyed tangerine fruits, balanced by vibrant acidity and hints of yellow apple and key lime pie that last through the crisp and refreshing finish.

With its balanced acidity, this versatile wine pairs well with a number of dishes, from light salads to seafood to, most notably, foods with a hint of spiciness – its subtle sweetness provides balance alongside a touch of heat.

Try Chenin Blanc + Viognier with a flavorful Thai curry, a sushi dish, such asa spicy tuna roll, or seared halibut.

Blend: 80% Chenin Blanc, 20% Viognier

Critical Acclaim

90 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

A consistent, big-time winner in the value sweepstakes, the 2014 Chenin Blanc / Viognier is a blend of 80% Chenin Blanc and 20% Viognier (145,000 cases produced) is aged totally in stainless steel, has malolactic blocked, and offers what consumers love – big, flowery, fresh honeysuckle and tropical fruit, a light to medium-bodied mouthfeel, beautiful purity, texture and a long finish. (RP) (8/2015)

K&L Notes

Seriously quaffable but not to be underestimated—five of the past seven vintages won 90-point approval from Wine Advocate.


PINE RIDGE

In 1978, a remarkable vineyard took shape alongside a deep pine forest that climbs the western hillside of Napa Valley’s storied Stags Leap District. Today, nestled in a small valley along the Silverado Trail, the carefully maintained and terraced slopes of Pine Ridge Vineyards blend gracefully with the natural rise and fall of the land. Year after year, the wines of Pine Ridge carry a sense of this place and its history. Continuity, balance and meticulous craftsmanship are inherent in the wines and deeply embedded in the winery’s heritage. Each vintage reflects the distinct characteristics of the appellation and a focused commitment to refinement that reaches across the years, from the founding of the winery to today.

TABLAS CREEK – Paso Robles, CA

Paso Robles got its start in Côtes du Rhône-style wines with a single winery/nursery called Tablas Creek. They imported vines directly from a partner winery in the Chateauneuf-du-Pape area called Chateau de Beaucastel. This little nursery has single-handedly provided some of the highest rated vines for Syrah and Mourvèdre in the United States.

The Perrins of Chateau de Beaucastel and Robert Haas, their importer since 1970, founded Tablas Creek Vineyard in 1990. They chose their 1600-foot elevation site in West Paso Robles’ Las Tablas because of its chalky clay soils and its climate similar to the southern Rhone Valley. They imported selected French cuttings of Mourvedre, Grenache, Syrah and Counoise and multiplied, grafted and planted their own vines, which they farm organically. This blended wine, in the image of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, is 100% estate-grown and bottled.

Both of these winery’s are known to offer acclaimed, value priced wines.

CALIFORINA WINE REGIONS (IN GENERAL)

California has nearly 100 American Viticulture Areas (AVAs) and accounts for almost 90% of wine production in the United States.

The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it’s not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara’s Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.

The largest of California’s wine growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of California’s wine. The district sprawls out, covering most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Smaller sub-AVAs of the Central Coast include Monterey Bay, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains and many others.

Notable Facts

Grape varieties range from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Some Central Coast wine is generic, bulk wine that contributes to the high production numbers of the area. But many winemakers and wineries, particular in some of the smaller AVAs, are small production artisans, creating unique and high-quality wine. The great thing about the Central Coast is its diversity – you’re able to find a number of grape varieties and styles at a number of different price points.

Here are a few smaller AVAs you may see on the label:

  • Livermore Valley AVA, located right outside of San Francisco and home to wineries such as Wente.
  • Lodi County AVA, an AVA further east of San Francisco and known for its excellent, old-vine Zinfandels.
  • San Francisco Bay AVA, a sprawling AVA that covers Contra Costa, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties, to name a few.

Wine that holds only the California AVA is typically a wine that includes grapes from a number of different AVAs, which leads to the general labeling of the wine as California. This does not denote the quality of the wine, only the diversity of where the grapes originate.

It’s not rare to see a wine’s country of origin listed as “California.” A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.

October 2016

Welcome Wine Club Members,

 

Cheers from Cove Ledge.   It’s October and that means a new wine of the Month is ready to be enjoyed and accompany you on your October Wine Journey.

 

This month we decided to have some fun and seek out two wines that not only taste fantastic but, also would serve as a symbol of our appreciation for being a Cove Ledge Wine Club Member…. and we found the two wines of choice…. in Argentina!

 

Just when you think we were not paying attention… Know that all of your hard work and dedication to being a Cove Ledge Wine Club Member is truly recognized… That’s right… we are using this Month’s wine selection to send along a big Thank you & Congratulations! For being rated  “Number One!”.  J

 

Consider this Month’s wines as a treat …a bit of bragging rights in a glass (of sorts) for being rated number one.  (In the Cove Ledge wine book anyway…) J

 

So go ahead, savor the moment being numeral UNO, pat yourself on the back… better yet, take a timeout one fine Autumn day and enjoy sipping a glass of these lovely wines from Argentina with family and friends.

 

The red is a beautiful Malbec from the renowned Southern Argentinian Mendoza, Uco Valley. Antigal’s portfolios of wines are some of our favorites.  The 3-dimensional, rustic #1 emblem on the Antigal bottle is reminiscent of a time when the winemaker used to stamp-out shapes from the wine barrel metal hoop rings.   The white is a Torrontés from the Northern Salta Region of Argentina. The white is from renowned Argentinian winemaker Nicholas Catena. If you have not heard of Torrontés, it is an indigenous white grape that is considered unique to Argentina and has been called the country’s signature white varietal.

 

Thank you for your continued patronage. As always, we hope that you enjoy this month’s selection!

 

Wine is our passion, but being part of the community is a life long commitment that we consider a privilege and an honor.

 

As always, we have included some information to hopefully provide some educational value and interest to go along with these lovely wines. Enjoy. J

 

Annette & Keith

 

 

 

 

 

In Store Price:  $15.99 / btl

Wine Club Member Price:  $14.99/ btl

 

 

ANTIGAL UNO – 2013

MALBEC MENDOZA, ARGENTINA

 

WINEMAKING:

Antigal Winery’s gravity-fed system facilitates exceptionally gentle treatment of their hand-picked, meticulously sorted, high-elevation fruit. Consequently Antigal UNO Malbec 2013 is an elegant expression of its varietal type, showing great balance and supple tannins.

TASTING NOTES:

The 2013 vintage of Antigal UNO Malbec offers delicious plum and blackberry flavors with enticing hints of tobacco and chocolate. Brightened by carefully protected natural acidity, this violet-red wine is versatile at the dining table, pairing well with lamb, duck, game, and pork as well as beef.

WINE INFORMATION:

APPELLATION: Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina COMPOSITION: 100% Malbec

ALCOHOL: 13.9% | TA: 5.59% | PH: 3.70 | RS: 0.26% AGING: 8-10 months in French and American oak

 

 

 

In Store Price:  $9.99 / btl

Wine Club Member Price:  $8.99/ btl

 

 

 

Alamos Torrontes 2015

Torrontes from Salta, Argentina

 

The Catena family sources Alamos Torrontes from the North West Argentina, home to some of the highest vineyards in the world;.

The intense mountain sunlight and pure snowmelt water of the Andes gives Alamos Torrontés its explosive floral aromatic character and bright citrus flavors. This crisp, refreshing wine is excellent with spicy empanadas and grilled fish.regarded as quintessential Barossa.

Tasting Notes

A delightful expression of the high elevation Salta region, our Alamos Torrontés has bright floral aromas of orange and jasmine blossom. On the palate, this wine offers citrus and peach flavors that lead to a crisp finish.

Serving Suggestions

It makes the perfect aperitif, and is also a wonderful match with delicate seafood dishes and Asian salads.

 

Wines of the Month – and where they call home

About Wines of Argentina…

 

Now fifth in the world for wine production, Argentina is catching up in the quality wine sector. A long time wine producer, Argentina used to make wine in order to drink it, not export it. And so the wines produced were quaffable and rustic and made for the local’s everyday dinner. Yet it’s hard not to get caught up in the wine market of the world and some winemakers decided it was time for Argentina to show their stuff. Better winemaking technology was brought in, new winemaking techniques were learned and good viticulture practices flourished. The result? World-class wines with unique style and variety.

 

Notable Facts

Unlike its Chilean neighbor, Argentina’s vineyards are spread out around the country. The best known region is Mendoza, almost parallel to Santiago to the west. Mendoza contains the sub-regions of Maipu (pronounced MY-pu) and San Rafael. Grape-wise, the most important white is Chardonnay, making wine similar to California’s style on the variety. Another fun white grape to try is Torrontes. Almost only grown in Argentina, Torrontes makes wines that are crisp, aromatic and easy-drinking. Some of the best versions of this wine come from the northern region of Salta, with very high altitude vineyards. As for the reds, Cabernet Sauvignon is the main grape for many wines leaving the country, but Malbec, the grape Argentinians like to call their own, makes very distinctive wines that are structured, dense and velvety. Many more varieties happily grow in the country, but for export, and consistent quality, these are the primary grapes.

Argentina boasts a wealth of natural resources and areas of great scenic beauty, including high summits and plains, lush forests and absolutely arid deserts, woods and steppes, glaciers and waterfalls. Any landscape you may imagine, you can find somewhere on Argentine soil.

 

Argentina is one of the most important wine-producing countries in the New World, and the largest producer of wine in South America. The high-altitude deserts of the eastern Andes have given rise to a high-quality wine industry and the terroir here is well suited to Argentina’s adopted grape variety, the ubiquitous Malbec. Originally from Bordeaux, this is now responsible for some of Argentina’s most famous wines, which are characteristically bright and intense, with floral notes and flavors of dark fruit.

Covering just over one million square miles (2.8 million sq km), Argentina is the second-largest country in South America and stretches from the southern border of Bolivia in the north to the southern tip of the continent. It is home to a vast array of landscapes, from the rocky peaks of the Andes in the west to the fertile Pampas lowlands in the east.

 

Most viticulture in Argentina takes place in the foothills of the Andes, and most famously in Mendoza, where desert landscapes and high altitudes combine to make a terroir that gives rise to aromatic, intensely flavored red wines. Vineyards in Mendoza reach as high as 5000ft (1500m) above sea level. Here, increased levels of solar radiation and a high diurnal temperature variation make for a long, slow ripening period, leading to balanced sugars and acidity in the grapes.

Nearly three-quarters of Argentinian wine production takes place in Mendoza, and in addition to Malbec, there are significant plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Bonarda. Mendoza’s position in the rain shadow of the Andes means that there is little rainfall, and irrigation is supplied by Andean meltwater.

Further north, the regions of Salta and Catamarca are even higher, and a world-topping vineyard owned by Bodega Colome in Molinos sits at 9900ft (3000m), higher than the peak of Mount St. Helens in the Pacific Northwest of America. Low latitudes in this corner of Argentina – which at 22°N to 28°N is considerably closer to the Equator than any European wine region – are tempered by the high altitude and cold mountain air. Here, Argentina’s signature white grape, Torrontes, is grown, making an aromatic, floral white wine.

 

There are also some wine-producing regions in Argentina closer to the Atlantic coast than to the lofty peaks of the Andes. Patagonia in the south is now home to two regions, Rio Negro and Neuquen, the cooler conditions of which are suited to creating wines made from Pinot Noir.

 

 

Argentina has a long viticultural tradition, and wines have been made here since the 1500s, initially by Spanish missionaries and later Italian settlers. Until very recently, Argentinian wines were exclusively domestic, based mostly on the high-yielding Criolla Grande and Cereza grape varieties. Over the past 20 years, however, the country’s wine producers have raised quality levels and successfully consolidated an international export market. Argentina has risen to become the fifth-most-prominent wine-producing country in the world, following France, Italy, Spain and the USA.

 

Mendoza is by far the largest wine region in Argentina. Located on a high-altitude plateau at the edge of the Andes Mountains, the province is responsible for roughly 70 percent of the country’s annual wine production. The French grape variety Malbec has its New World home in the vineyards of Mendoza, producing red wines of great concentration and intensity.

The province lies on the western edge of Argentina, across the Andes Mountains from Chile. While the province is large (it covers a similar area to the state of New York), its viticultural land is clustered mainly in the northern part, just south of Mendoza City. Here, the regions of Lujan de Cuyo, Maipu and the Uco Valley are home to some of the biggest names in Argentinian wine.

 

Mendoza’s winemaking history is nearly as old as the colonial history of Argentina itself. The first vines were planted by priests of the Catholic Church’s Jesuit order in the mid-16th Century, borrowing agricultural techniques from the Incas and Huarpes, who had occupied the land before them. Malbec was introduced around this time by a French agronomist, Miguel Aimé Pouget.

 

In the 1800s, Spanish and Italian immigrants flooded into Mendoza to escape the ravages of the phylloxera louse that was devastating vineyards in Europe at the time. A boom in wine production came in 1885, when a railway line was completed between Mendoza and the country’s capital city, Buenos Aires, providing a cheaper, easier way of sending wines out of the region. For most of the 20th Century, the Argentinean wine industry focused almost entirely on the domestic market, and it is only in the past 25 years that a push toward quality has led to the wines of Mendoza gracing restaurant lists the world over.

Altitude is one of the most important characteristics of the Mendoza terroir. The strip of vineyard land that runs along the base of the Andes lies between 2600ft and 3900ft (800m-1200m) above sea level, and it is this altitude that moderates the hot, dry climate of the region. Warm, sunny days are followed by nights made much colder by westerly winds from the Andes. This cooling-off period slows ripening, extending the growing season and contributing rich, ripe flavors to the grapes that do not come at the expense of acidity.

Irrigation is facilitated by the rivers that cross the region, including the Mendoza itself, which runs down from the mountains. Warm, dry harvest periods mean that winemakers are able to pick their grapes according to ripeness, rather than being ruled by the vagaries of the weather. As with other New World countries, this leads to a reduction in vintage variation, as well as consistent quality from year to year. Predictable harvests also afford Mendoza’s winemakers the luxury of increased control over the styles of wine they produce – a factor which has contributed to the region’s international reputation.

The soils in Mendoza are Andean in origin and have been deposited over thousands of years by the region’s rivers. These rocky, sandy soils have little organic matter and are free-draining, making them dry and low in fertility. This kind of soil is perfect for viticulture – vines are forced to work hard for hydration and nutrients, and will produce small, concentrated berries in lieu of leafy foliage. The wines produced from grapes grown on these soils are often highly structured, with firm tannins, and have a distinct minerality that is often attributed to the soil.

The city of Mendoza has become one of the world’s wine capitals, and enjoys a significant slice of South America’s wine-tourism industry, helped along by the natural beauty of the area. The Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia (National Harvest Festival) that is held in March to celebrate the harvest is one of the key events in Mendoza’s calendar.

While Malbec is undoubtedly the star of the region, there are also extensive plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Syrah, Torrontes and Sauvignon Blanc.

 

The Uco Valley is a key wine-growing region of Mendoza, Argentina. Located in a clearly defined valley an hour’s drive south from the city of Mendoza, the region is home to the production of some of Mendoza’s most famous wines. Argentina’s icon grape variety of Malbec shines in the Uco Valley, producing terroir-driven red wines with a distinctive floral aroma.

Although considered part of the Mendoza region, the Uco Valley (or Valle de Uco in Spanish) can be recognized in its own right on several counts. Not only is the vine-growing area quite distinct; the region is also home to several of Argentina’s top producers. Attracted by the excellent climate and soil quality, newcomers with historic Bordeaux-based names such as Lurton, Dassault, Rothschild and Rolland have given Uco Valley a firm place on the international wine map. The vineyards of Vista Flores have produced some particularly successful wines.

 

Among Uco’s specific merits is its higher-altitude location at the foot of the Andes mountains; the valley’s La Consulta and Tunuyan sub-regions sit at altitudes of 2800 ft (850m) and 3600 ft (1100m) respectively, slightly higher than Maipu and Lujan de Cuyo in the north. Located at a latitude of 33°S, the area’s elevated vineyard sites benefit from high daytime temperatures which drop to cool at night. This allows the grapes to produce balanced sugars and acidity while achieving phenolic ripeness. Some of Mendoza’s finest white wines made from Chardonnay and Torrontes come from Uco Valley vineyards, as the relatively cool climate allows the requisite slower ripening period.

 

From the Tupungato region in the north to San Carlos in the south, the Uco Valley is roughly 45 miles (70km) long and an average of 15 miles (22km) wide. The valley follows the northerly course of the Tunuyan river as it flows down from its source high up in the Andean peaks. This is of great importance to the region’s viticulture; the dry continental climate brings little rain, so irrigation techniques are widely used. The town of Tunuyan, with a population of around 45,000, is at the heart of the region. It is situated on the western banks of the Tunuyan river.

Soils throughout the Uco Valley are alluvial and fairly uniform: a clay and rock base with a stony, sandy surface. These free-draining soils are excellent for quality viticulture as they stress the vines, leading to decreased vigor and lower yields, and consequently wines with a higher concentration of flavor.

Uco Valley has seen unprecedented investment in the last twenty years, and wine tourism is becoming one of the region’s key industries. The spectacular scenery and state-of-the-art winemaking facilities has the Uco Valley poised to become Argentina’s equivalent to California’s Napa Valley, a process which is already well underway.

 

Salta, in the far north of Argentina, is home to some of the world’s most extreme vineyard sites. Many sit at lower latitudes and higher altitudes than anywhere else on Earth. Interestingly, these two factors balance each other out; the cold temperatures associated with high altitude are mitigated by the high temperatures found at these latitudes. The combination creates an unexpectedly excellent climate for quality viticulture. Argentina’s signature grape varieties of Torrontes and Malbec are Salta’s top performers, producing bright, intensely flavored wines.

 

As is the case in Catamarca (to the south) and Jujuy (to the northwest), Salta’s vineyards are often located amid mountainous terrain – some reaching altitudes of 9840ft (3000m) above sea level. With latitudes as low as 24°S, their proximity to the Equator is similar to such places as Egypt, Mozambique, Alice Springs and Baja California.

 

Salta’s mountainous landscape creates a rain shadow over the vineyards below, ensuring clear skies and low levels of precipitation. The convenient flipside is that the mountains also provide irrigation, sending a reliable supply of meltwater down from the snowy peaks. This mesoclimate benefits from a wide diurnal temperature variation, which allows the grapes to develop phenolic ripeness while retaining good acidity. Summer temperatures in Salta reach 100F (38C) in the day time, while dropping to as low as 55F (12C) at night.

 

Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot and Tannat are the most prominent red-wine varieties in Salta, while Chardonnay and Torrontes account for the region’s most respected white wines. The region has a similar alluvial soil profile (sandy topsoil over a clay base) to Mendoza, 500 miles (800km) to the south, which explains why these varieties do so well in both regions.

Salta’s key wine-growing areas are Cafayate and the world-topping vineyards of Molinos. Cafayate in particular is quickly gaining an international reputation for the high quality of the wines produced there, as much as for the quirks of its terroir.

 

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