The white grape variety comes from South America(Argentina) and belongs to the group of the so-called Criollas (see the history in detail there). Synonyms are Malvasia, Torrontél, Torrontél Riojano and Torrontés. Despite apparently indicative synonyms or morphological similarities, it should not be confused with the varieties Moscatel Amarillo, Muscat Blanc, Torrontés Mendocino or Torrontés Sanjuanino, which originate from the same parents. According to the latest DNA analyses carried out in 2013, it is a presumably natural cross between Criolla Chica(Listán Prieto) x Muscat d'Alexandrie.
This early-ripening, high-yielding vine is susceptible to botrytis and downy mildew. It produces highly aromatic, acidic white wines with a pronounced muscat and slightly bitter aftertaste, as well as ageing potential. These are generally used as blends with neutral tasting varieties such as Pinot Gris. Torrontés Riojano is the most important of the three Torrontés varieties grown in Argentina. It was first mentioned in 1861 in the province of La Rioja, as well as Mendoza, Rio Negro and San Juan, where it is still widely grown today. In Argentina it is cultivated on a total of 7,683 hectares of vineyards. There are also other stocks in Chile (425 hectares), Peru (8 hectares) and Uruguay. In 2010, the variety covered a total of 8,115 hectares of vineyards. This puts it in 84th place in the worldwide grape variety ranking.
Source: Wine Grapes / J. Robinson, J. Harding, J. Vouillamoz / Penguin Books Ltd. 2012