To celebrate National Wine Day (there is also a National Wine Drinking Day), I decided to list many of the wine grape varieties we are now growing in Arizona. The list is extensive and by no means complete. So here we go:
Aglianico, Albarino, Aleatico, Alicante Bouschet, Arinarnoa, Arneis, Assyrtiko, Barbera, Blaufrankisch, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonel, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Colombard, Counoise, Dolcetto, Graciano, Grenache, Gros Verdot, Lulienga, Malbec Bianca, Malvasia, Marsanne, Marselan, Merlot, Mission, Montepulciano, Mourvedre, Muscat Canelli, Muscat of Alexandria, Nebbiolo, Negroamaro, Petit Manseng, Petit Sirah, Petit Verdot, Picpoul, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Pinotage, Refosco, Riesling, Roussane, Sagrantino, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, Seyval Blanc, Souzao, Symphony, Syrah, Tannat, Tempranillo, Verdelho, Vermentino, Vidal Blanc, Viognier, Vranac, and Zinfandel.
Enjoy National Wine Day and I hope you get to try many Arizona wines and our unique wine varietals.
If you like a dry Riesling or Albarino, you’ll probably enjoy a Torrontes from Argentina. For my class wine of the week I chose the 2016 Piattelli Torrontes, from the Cafayate Valley in Salta.
It had a very pale lemon color and 14% alcohol. The grapes for this wine are grown at 5900 feet! The nose and palate reminded me of a few of our local Arizona Albarinos.
The nose smelled sweet with lovely floral notes and tropical fruits such as lychee. The palate had a light creamy mouth feel, with refreshing flavors of vanilla, honeysuckle, grass and minerals. It was quite dry with medium acidity and the finish came in at around 35 seconds. 20% of the wine was aged in American oak. This complex wine will pair well with Asian and spicy Indian food. At around $16 a bottle, I felt it was a very good buy.
What makes Argentinian grapes so special is that they are subjected to the largest diurnal shift of the International wine growing regions. Arizona comes pretty close with our major temperature swings.
Take a close look at the photo on the bottle. It looks like it has Saguaro cactuses growing at the base of the mountains. These unique cacti are only found in the Southern part of Arizona and Sonora, Mexico, so it was quite surprising.
When I visited Argentina, I spent time in Mendoza and Buenos Aires, but never made it that far north to Salta. Next trip, (if there is one) I hope to go to Iguazu Falls and then visit Salta.
Sue Schurgin is the manager of Sedona Wine and Beer Tours. She is studying for her CSW and sommelier certifications.