Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Torrontés, name of many distinct white grape varieties grown in Argentina and Spain, not always named with precision.

Argentina grows at least three different varieties with Torrontés in their name. The most common, planted on 7,683 ha/18,977 acres in 2011, is Torrontés Riojano, a natural cross of muscat of alexandria and criolla chica (California’s mission grape), as shown by dna profiling in 2003. It is the most planted white wine grape after the undistinguished Pedro Giménez and is regarded as Argentina’s most distinctive white wine grape. See also torontel. Torrontés Sanjuanino, a distinct speciality of San Juan province and another natural cross of Muscat of Alexandria and Criolla Chica, was planted on just 2,048 ha (and, as Moscatel de Austria, 53 ha of Chile), while plantings of Torrontés Mendocino were under 700 ha. This third variety is also the result of a natural cross of Muscat of Alexandria, but the other parent is so far unknown.