Argentine Wine Regions

Friday, February 9th, 2007 at 12:00 am

Argentina vineyardArgentina is a wine country divided into several wine regions that offer their own special vintages and wine types. The type of wines that each region can produce may depend on a number of factors such as soils quality, grape type and climate among others. Here is an overview of the wine regions that can be found in Argentina.

Mendoza

The province of Mendoza has been known as the primary wine producing region in Argentina. This wine region is comprised of the main Mendoza area, Valle Central, Valle de Ucco and the San Rafael area. All in all, the Mendoza wine region is known to produce more than 60 percent of the country’s total wines as well as having the highest total export percentages among all the wine regions in Argentina.

The Mendoza wine region is able to produce a wide variety of wine types because of the varied geographical characteristics found in this area of the country. There are several vineyards that are set at the higher altitudes as well as vineyards at much lower levels, thereby giving this wine region the distinct advantage of producing some of the country’s best wines.

San Juan

San Juan is known as the second largest wine producer next to the Mendoza wine region. It is composed of the Valle de Ullum and the Valle de Tullum, said to be one of the most important areas in the viticultural industry. Wine produced in this region include table wines as well as fine and liquor-like wines. The most notable grape variety being grown in this region is the Syrah, known for its great aromatic characteristics and fleshy body.

La Rioja

La Rioja is the third major wine region in Argentina. Valle de Famatina in the Chilecito area is where the most important viticultural area in the region is located. This region is blessed with one of the optimum conditions in the country for the growing of the vines which has allowed La Rioja to produce over eight million liters of wine annually. The most widely cultivated variety of grape in La Rioja is the Bonarda, the grape variety from which most of the wines for daily consumption are being produced.

Catamarca

Catamarca is one of the newer wine regions to come out of the Argentinian map. Its ideal geographical and environmental characteristics make Catamarca one of the best places to grow and produce some of the country’s high quality wines.

The Valle de Tinogasta is the main viticultural area in this region where fine grape varieties such as the Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignons are being cultivated. It is only recently that this region as been made into a viticultural area for growing and producing fine quality wines, which was previously an area for growing table grapes and raisins.

Salta

Salta is the wine region where Valles Calchaques near Cafayete is located. Valles Calchaques is known for its famous wines where the typical variety of grape cultivated in the area is the Torrontes. Other grape varieties also grown in the area are the Malbec, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay.

Neuquen

The province of Neuquen have been an active viticultural area for decades. But it was only recently that the wine produced in the area have been noticed with the rise of the "Bodega del Fin del Mundo". It has become a new wine region slowly getting better attention for its cultivation of noble grape varieties such as the Malbec, Merlot, and Pinot noir.

Rio Negro

Also known as one of Argentina’s smaller wine regions, Rio Negro is also known as a main producer of apples and pears in the country. The fertile valleys of the Rio Negro has made it suitable for growing fruits as well as a fine variety of wine grapes.

Juyjuy

The area of San Salvador de Juyjuy is known as the northernmost wine producing province in Argentina. This area is also known to have produced wines at some of the highest recorded altitudes.