Bodega La Rural was founded in 1885 by Don Felipe Rutini. From Italy, he brought with him his oenological degree and the vast experience he had acquired from his father's vineyards. The first vines were planted in Maipu, Mendoza and the winery was installed with French Oak barrels and the best in modern machinery. Under his work ethic, "Labor and Perseverance," four generations of the Rutini family continued his legacy. They brought together hard work and the most advanced technologies in viticulture in the search for excellence in oenology.
Today, the winery boasts stainless steel tanks, two pneumatic presses, imported crushers, vacuum pumps and filters, in addition to 500 new French Oak barrels. Over the last couple of years, the Trumpeter wines have soared to new heights in popularity in the United States. Offering four varietals: a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Malbec, Bodega La Rural has crafted new wines with attractive new labels that have created quite a stir in the media. These wines have received praise in many respected publications ranging from Wine Spectator and Wine & Spirits magazine to the Washington Post daily newspaper.
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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.
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.
Young, organically farmed Carmenère at Chile's De Martino estate vineyard
Chile & Argentina are the regions producing the most wine coming out of the continent. The wines from this area are good value with a distinctive taste. They create new world wines with old world character.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.