Argentine wine road ; 2.000 km vineyards surround the Andean mountain range
From the Northwest to Patagonia, Argentine vineyards extend over 2,000km along the Andean mountain range, at record altitudes at times. The wine regions are also great places to visit and the wine road and bodegas are an excellent excuse to explore them.
Cafayate, Salta, Nord-Ouest (NOA)
Vineyards at the Quebrada de Cafayate and the Valles Calchaquíes, south of Salta, are located at the highest altitude as compared to the rest of the world (1,700m high) and surrounded by great landscapes. Three vineyards have been planted at 2,200 and 3,000m at Colomé, Tacuil and Payogasta. The average annual temperature difference is 25 °C and rains are scarce (180mm). Another characteristic is the prevailing grape variety: the torrontés, a white wine exclusively produced in Argentina. The vineyard is small (3,200 hectares), but of the utmost quality. Besides visiting the wineries, Cafayate has a wine and vineyard museum operating since 1981.
Wineries: La Banda, Estancia Colomé, Domingo Hermanos, El Esteco, El Porvenir, Etchart, Félix Lavaque, Animaná, José Luis Mounier, Miralpeix, Nanni, Río Colorado, San Pedro de Yacochuya, Tacuil, Vasija Secreta, El Molino, Martorell, El Tránsito.
La Rioja, Cuyo
The main producing area in the province of La Rioja is the Chilecito valley. The main grape variety grown there is the torrontés riojano, used for espumantes (sparkling wine).
Wineries: Cooperativa La Riojana, Chañarmuyo, Liberman, San Huberto.
Mendoza is the leading wine-making area in Argentina (70%), having over 150,000 hectares of vineyards and more than 1,000 wineries. The malbec is the iconic wine in the region, though not the only grape variety grown there. Located at the bottom of the Andean mountain range that stops the wet winds from the Pacific, at about 900-1,500m,
Mendoza has dry and very sunny weather, good temperature difference, and is one of the eight world wine capitals (Great Wine Capital Global Network). Not to miss from Mendoza is the end of the harvest season festival, at the beginning of March, and the Felipe Rutini wine museum.
Mendoza > Luján de Cuyo et Maipú
This central region, the closest to the city of Mendoza, was the first place to produce quality wines. It has the greatest number of wineries and is the one with the easiest access just some kilometers away from Mendoza.
Wineries: Adalgisa, Alta Vista, Giol, Atilio Avena, Barberis, Baudrón, Benegas, Bonfanti, Bressia, Cabrini, Carinae, Carmelo Patti, Carmine Granata, Cassone, Catena Zapata, Cecchin, Chandon, Conde, Dolium, St. Diego, Di Tommaso, Dominio del Plata, Don Bosco, Escorihuela Gascón, Fabre Montmayou, Filus, Flichman, Lagarde, Landelia, La Rural/Rutini, López, Luigi Bosca, Miguel Minni, Navarro Correas, Nieto Senetiner, Norton, Renacer, Reyter, Ruca Malen, Séptima, Tapaus, Tapiz, Tempus Alba, Terrazas de los Andes, Tierras Altas, Trapiche, Trivento, Viniterra, Vinorum, Viña Amalia, Viña Doña Paula, Viña El Cerno, Viña Maipú, Vistalba, Weinert, Zuccardi.
Mendoza > San Rafael
This valley is located 250km south of Mendoza, irrigated by the Diamante and Atuel rivers. It has about 22,500 hectares of vineyards.
Wineries: Valentín Bianchi, Coop. General Alvear, El Rosal, Goyenechea, Haarth, La Abeja, Lavaque, La Vieja Bodega, Rivier, Roca, Simonassi Lyon, Suter, Valle de Nubia, Viñas del Golf.
Mendoza > East Region, in the surroundings of San Martín
Having 60,000 hectares, its production amounts to almost half the production of the whole province. The wineries, of great capacity, produce mostly table wine as from criolla grande, moscatel and cereza varieties.
Wineries: CAPE, Don Alberto, Crotta, Gustavo Brega, Lanzarini, Llaver, Nueva California, Santa Cecilia, Santa Sara, Pacífico Tittarelli, Alto Salvador, Santa María.
Mendoza > Valle de Uco
These are the youngest vineyards in the Mendoza region being just a few years old. These wineries have been settled mostly with foreign capitals. The white wine amounts to 30% of the production with its semillón grape variety. Red wine: malbec, cabernet sauvignon, syrah, tempranillo, merlot, and barbera. The great lean average temperature difference favors the production of intense wines.
Caves: Aconquija, Alto Cedro, Altus, Andeluna Cellars, Antucura, Bombal, Cuvelier Los Andes, Fapes, Flecha de los Andes, Hinojosa, J&F Lurton, Giaquinta, La Azul, La Celia, Los Parrales, Monteviejo, Fournier, Salentein, San Polo.
San Juan, Cuyo
The province of San Juan had long been devoted to the production of table wine. However, it has turned to quality wine production about ten years ago. It is also the land of syrah, mainly grown in the Tulum valley, favored by low humidity, sunny days, a good temperature difference, and clay and sandy soils. The visit to the San Juan wineries is completed by the overwhelming views of the two national parks: the Valle de la Luna (Ischigualasto) and Talampaya, to the north. Among the odd rock formations standing in the middle of the desert some 225 million-year-old fossils have been found.
Wineries: Antigua Bodega, Augusto Pulenta, Bórbore, Callia, Casa Montes, Cavas de Zonda, Graffigna, Miguel Más, Don Doménico, Fabril Alto Verde, La Guarda, Las Marianas, Licciardi, San Juan de Cuyo, Segisa.
Rio Negro, Patagonia
39.2 altitude South, at the Río Negro valley, the southern-most wines are produced. The great difference in temperature resulting from cold nights and sunny days gives rise to grape varieties of unique characteristics and favors the production of intense taste wines, with more acidity and less body than in other regions. Grapes come to maturity three weeks later than in the Mendoza region. The pinot noir, merlot, sémillon and cabernet sauvignon grow well there. The Río Negro valley is like an oasis for growing fruit and vegetables to supply the whole country.
Wineries: Agrestis, Humberto Canale, Estepa, Notaro, Podlesh.
Wineries in Neuquén (San Patricio del Chañar and Añelo), and Patagonia, are the youngest in Argentina and the most promising too. This is due to the high-tech installations used there to produce quality wine from the very beginning. The prevailing grape varieties there are merlot, pinot noir, malbec, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, and sauvignon blanc. At 39° latitude South the weather is dry and windy, with low humidity. The wine-producing area is surrounded by pre-historic places that house dinosaur fossils, and makes it known as the “wine and dinosaur road.”
Wineries: Bodega del Añelo, Bodega del Fin del mundo, Familia Schroeder, NQN, Bodega Valle Perdido.