Criolla Grande Sanjuanina is a light red grape with unknown origin, grown almost exclusively in Argentina.
Apart from its berry colour, there’s nothing to be found about the characteristics of this grape.
The wines made from Criolla Grande Sanjuanina are either naturally pink or what best can be characterised as deeply coloured white wines. It is also used to produce rosé wines. The wines made from this grape are traditionally low cost bulk production made for early consumption on the domestic market in Argentina. There are however Argentinean winemakers who have started to go in the direction of quality instead of quantity. Few of these wines, however, become available outside of Argentina.
Criolla Grande Sanjuanina is also used as a table grape.
A nice paring with Criolla Grande Sanjuanina will for example be boiled or poached fish. The wine is best served at 10-12°C/50-54°F.
Where is it grown?
Criolla Grande Sanjuanina’s is with its 17.080 ha/42,206 ac, the fourth most planted grape in Argentina.
It can be found in almost all regions and sub regions but its heartland is in Mendoza. The area planted with this grape has however decreased with thirty one percent in ten years.
Under the synonym, Italia it is grown also in Peru, where it is the second most planted grape in the country. Its 1.011 ha/2,498 ac are found mainly in the regions Tacna and Moquegua.
Small plantings under this name can also be found in south-western France, Taiwan and Spain.
Criolla Grande Sanjuanina is thought to be an offspring of grapes that arrived in Argentina with the conquistadors in the seventeenth century. The varieties Mission and Muscat of Alexandria are recognised as its parents.