wine regions argentina
There are seven major wine regions in Argentina: Mendoza, Salta, Neuquen, Rio Negro, Catamarca, La Rioja and San Juan.
Northern Wine Regions: Salta
Northern Argentina’s wine regions are centred around the charming town of Cafayate in the heart of the Calchaquí Valley in the Salta region. Cafayate is the home to Argentina’s native white grape variety, Torrontés. This grape should be at the top of your tasting list in Cafayate, alongside the many red varieties that thrive in these high altitude conditions including Malbec, Tannat and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The vineyards in Cafayate are clustered together so getting between them is easy. Visitors can walk between the town’s many vineyards, whilst you can hire bikes or a car to tour around the bodegas for tastings. The views from the surrounding hills are excellent.
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Central Wine Regions: Mendoza and San Juan
In the centre of Argentina are the most productive wine regions - Mendoza (Argentina's wine heartland) and San Juan. More than three-quarters of Argentina’s wine production is concentrated here. Vineyards are fed by glacial waters from the Andes and the region is blessed with dry, sunny year-round weather. Due to the region’s high altitude Malbec, the dominant grape here, thrives. Additionally visitors will also find Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay varieties.
Mendoza is a mecca for wine lovers and one of the great wine capitals of the world. There are hundreds of wineries to discover along Mendoza’s wine route, some of which offer fantastic winery restaurants. Maipú is the most historic of Mendoza’s wine areas and has wineries ranging from boutique family operations such as Carinae to Argentina’s largest winery Trapiche. Luján de Cuyo is considered the cradle of Malbec and this is the wine region where you should dive deep into Argentine Malbec. Luján is also home to some of Mendoza’s best winery restaurants. The Uco Valley, located south towards the mountains, is the new frontier of Mendoza’s wine scene. It is well worth the daylong trip.
Two hours north of Mendoza is the province and wine regions of San Juan, which offers another insight into Argentine wine production.
Southern Wine Regions: Neuquén & Río Negro
At the gateway of Patagonia visitors will find the quieter wine regions of Neuquén and Río Negro. Patagonian wines focus on Merlot and Pinot Noir, with some Cabernet Sauvignon. White grapes concentrate on Semillon and Viognier.
In the Rio Negro region, visitors will find Humberto Canale, the largest producer in the area and a historic vineyard established in 1909; Pinot Noir specialist Bodega Chacra, and family-run Bodega Miras for Semillon.
Well worth the visit, the final frontier of Argentine wine is found in Chubut. This is the most southerly of Patagonia’s wine regions.
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