Regions

SALTA

Salta's wine-producing region is in the Calchaquies Valleys, an area with exceptional landscapes and a rich cultural heritage inherited from the ancient Diaguita-Calchaqui nation who were part of the Inca Empire.

Salta´s viticulture dates back to the time of the Spanish conquest, making it one of Argentina´s oldest wine producing areas. This province offers an interesting array of tastes and its fragrant Torrontés white wine, the most typical variety in the region, are widely regarded as the finest expression of this unique variety.

 

Vineyard Altitude:
1280m to 3005m
Average Annual Temperature:
15°C
Average Rainfall:
20,3 cm/year
Total Vineyard Area:
22959 hectare
Main Region:
Cafayate
Main Varieties:
Torrontés, Malbec, Cabernet, Sauvignon and Tannat

CATAMARCA

Like the neighboring provinces of Salta and La Rioja, Catamarca is characterized by mountainous terrains, ancient and impressive volcanoes and valleys with small towns and rural wine production. Its main wine-producing center is in the Fiambala valley, 186 miles from the capital city to the west. The other wine-producing center is Santa María, located to the east in the Calchaquies Valleys. The near desert-like weather is good for producing concentrated wines.

Vineyard Altitude:
1005m to 2194m
Average annual temperature:
18,3°C
Average rainfall:
43,2 cm/year
Total vineyard area:
2.582 hectare
Main Regions:
Tinogasta, Santa Maria and Belén. Irrigated by the Abaucan River.
Main Varieties:
Torrontés, Syrah, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon

LA RIOJA

Famatina Valley, located between the Velasco and Famatina Hills, has become the province's most famous wine region. As in the rest of Argentina's wine country, the weather here is dry, relatively windy, and soils are alluvial. Altitudes are definitely considerable, ranging from 800m to 1720m.

The predominant training system is parral (a high, flat, wide-top trellis) since the sweltering sun calls for a structure to protect the berries from excessive sun exposure during the summer. The Torrontés Riojano variety accounts for 40% of the more than 20,000 acres of vine cultivated. It is used to make outstanding, high quality sparkling wines.

Highest vineyard:
800m to 1720m
Average annual temp.:
18,8°C
Average rainfall:
13 cm/year
Total vineyard area:
8517 hectare
Main Regions:
Nonogasta, Chilecito, Famatina and Antinaco
Main Varieties:
Torrontés, Bonarda, Malbec, Syrah & Cabernet Sauvignon

SAN JUAN

The second biggest wine producing area in Argentina, San Juan has more than 44400 hectares of vineyards. Several valleys run through here, with Tulum, its most important area, sitting along the banks of the San Juan River. Its other valleys are Ullum-Zonda, Calingasta, Iglesia and Fertil. Altitudes in this area range from 600m to 1350m.

Tulum Valley stretches between latitudes 31º and 32º south, between the Andes Range and Pie de Palo Hills, down along the San Juan River. It is the oldest wine making area in the province. At 2066 feet above sea level, rainfalls are limited and the average annual temperature is 17,2°C.

San Juan enjoys one of the sunniest climates in the world, with no more than 30 days of cloud-covered sky a year. Nights are cold while days are hot. This range in temperature is ideal for the cultivation of grapes high in polyphenols and wines with intense flavor and fruit.

Syrah, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bonarda, Chardonnay and Torrontés are the most widely cultivated varieties. San Juan's Syrah deserves special mention as its varietal expression has garnered increasing attention worldwide.

Vineyard Altitude:
600m to 1350m
Average annual temp.:
17,2°C
Average rainfall:
10,2 cm/year
Total vineyard area:
44.491 hectare
Main wine regions:
Tulum, Ullum-Zonda, Calingasta, Iglesia and Valle Fertil
Main grape varieties:
Syrah, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bonarda, Chardonnay & Torrontés

MENDOZA

Saying that Men doza is the most important among the wine producing provinces is quite comprehensible, bearing in mind that it represents more than the 80% of all the wine production in the country. There, a quality-oriented industry is developing towards the constant search of vineyard and terroir improvements. Certainly, Mendoza holds an enviable diversity in this respect.

Basic wine geography in Mendoza can be divided in 5 great oases. Each of them presenting specific characteristics and differentiating from one another quite notably according to location, height and soil composition.

Northern Mendoza: It covers the lowest area of the region, watered by the Mendoza River. Lavalle and part of Maipú, Guaymallén, Las Heras and San Martin departments are included within this area. Altitude r anges from 600 to 700 meters above sea level. Lands are not very sloped, but yet deep. This region is suitable for white wine growing, such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Chenin, Ugni Blanc and Torrontés. Among red varieties, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bonarda, and Malbec find a good place to grow here.

Eastern Mendoza: This region is a real wine power, considering the vineyard planted surface and the wineries located there. Height ranges between 600 and 750 meters above sea level, and relief presents significant differences in terms of weather, soil and temperature range.

Junin, Rivadavia, San Martín, La Paz y Santa Rosa are part of this region.

In the areas nearby the city, soils are unable to drain water; while on the most eastern parts of the region (Santa Rosa and Rivadavia) the soil is typically desert, with sandy soils which do not retain water.

Furthermore, temperature range is quite wide, due to desert weather.

Mendoza River Area: An ancient and traditional wine region is located at Luján de Cuyo and Maipú departments. They are known as "the first wine area" of the Argentine wines. Such appellation arises from the international prestige that wine labels of this area have gained, considered the top quality wines of the country. The privileged location, to the south of the City of Mendoza, the ideal height above sea level (650 to 1060 meters) and a perfect soil composition help to maintain this reputation.

Malbec is the emblematic wine variety of this area, and even the province and the country, though Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc stand out too.

The "first wine area", together with Uco Valley, has become on of the most attractive wine regions for foreign investments, which have continuously been settling in the country since 1990. The prolonged

Uco vallei: This area covers the highest vineyards of the province: up to 1,700 meters above sea level. Tupungato, Tunuyán and San Carlos are located in this area.

Characterized by a top quality red and white wine production, wines grown in this region are suitable for prolonged ageing. The typical wine varieties of this area are Semillon and Malbec, but Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Tempranillo, and Syrah have been recently implanted, with excellent results.

Southern Mendoza: DLocated between latitude 34.5º and 35º south, this region covers San Rafael and General Alvear departments. Height goes from 450 to 800 meters above seal level, with 1% slopes.

This area is the main producer of Chenin, but other varieties like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Malbec, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are also cultivated.

Vineyard Altitude:
457m to 1700m
Average annual temp.:
15°C/18,9°C
Average rainfall:
20,1 cm/year
Total vineyard area:
160704 hectare
Main wine regions:
Northeastern, Central, Southern & Uco Valley
Main grape varieties:
Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Torrontes, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc & Viognier

NEUQUEN

These green, fertile valleys offer a stunning contrast to the arid mountains of the northern regions. Here, the mighty Andes begin to fade and the altitude drops to a more modest 300m. By pushing the southern boundary of its vineyards as far as the 42nd parallel, Patagonia makes wines in a cool-climate tradition, even showing success with traditional sparkling wine and Pinot Noir.

San Patricio del Chañar, 37.3 miles to the north of the city of Neuquen, has ideal conditions for growing and producing wine.Continuous sun exposure and mild breezes are excellent for growing healthy grapes and producing wines with good color and aroma concentration, slow tannin evolution and a perfect level of acidity. These are blended into top quality wines. Wines from this region have deep color concentration, are intensely fruity and full-bodied and have great personality. The cooler climate leads to more elegant red wines, such as the great Pinot Noir.

Vineyard Altitude:
300m to 460m
Average Annual Temperature:
10°C
Average Annual Rainfall:
17,8 cm per year
Total vineyard area:
1630 hectare
Main wine region:
San Patricio del Chañar
Main grape varieties:
Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Pinot Noir & Malbec

RIO NEGRO

Argentine Patagonia's oldest and most important wine area is in the Rio Negro High Valley, at 40º southern latitude. This seventy-four-mile-long, five-mile-wide oasis lies in the vast, arid and wild Patagonian plateau. The Middle Valley and neighboring Lower Valley towards the Atlantic Ocean have also been developed on a small scale. While both areas employ traditional winemaking methods, only the wines from the High Valley have gained well-deserved domestic and world-wide recognition.

The weather in the Rio Negro High Valley is markedly continental and dry, with average annual rainfalls below 18cm and very low relative humidity. This region has cold winters and warm and dry summers. Southern winds blowing from the mountains increase dryness and ensure healthy vines.

The unique characteristics of the Patagonian landscape provide a strong personality to its wines. All of them stand out for their excellent alcohol-acidity balance resulting from the slow ripening of the grapes. Wines made from Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc are particularly interesting, and have unique aromas and mineral touches. Intensely aromatic Merlot, Pinot Noir and Malbec stand out among its red wines. Cabernet Sauvignon has recently shown promise.

Vineyard Altitude:
230m to 250m
Average annual rainfall:
17,8 cm/year
Average annual temperature:
12,7°C
Total Vineyard Area:
2635 hectare
Main Region:
Alto Valle de Rio Negro (High Valley of Rio Negro)
Main Varieties:
Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Malbec