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La Rioja (Argentina)

Wine-growing region in Argentina with around 7,000 hectares of vineyards; to the west of this lies the Catamarca region. Although it is historically the oldest region, it is of less importance for viticulture. This is concentrated in the small irrigated mountain valleys in the west between the "Sierras de Velasco" in the east and the "Sierra de Famatina", classified as DO, in the west. Most of the vineyards, about 70%, are located around the small town of Chilecito. The white grape varieties Torrontés Riojano (with around 50% of the area), Torrontés Sanjuanino and Muscat d'Alexandrie predominate, often with a sweet or sweet finish. Also present are the indigenous light red varieties Cereza, Criolla Chica and Criolla Grande, from which white or light red wines are made for everyday consumption. Red wines play a subordinate role and are mainly produced from the Italian varieties Barbera and Bonarda. The most important producer is the Cooperativa La Riojana cooperative.

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