A Regional Map of Argentinian Wines

Diverse climates and soils, and a range of identities

In 1998, a law prohibiting the sale of wine from regions other than Cuyo and the surrounding mountains was repealed. Since then, entrepreneurial newcomers have redrawn the map of Argentinian wine. Although Mendoza accounts for 70% of the country’s vineyards, wineries have sprung up from the north east to the far south, on the back of the success of Malbec, the rediscovery of terroirs, and the dreams of the wine growers themselves.

La Playa de Dina, Dina Huapi (2021-02-08/2021-02-11) by Diego TorchiaGustar

Roads to the south

Between La Pampa and Chubut, in an area crisscrossed by basins and the banks of the region’s main rivers, Patagonia's grapes are bathed in sunlight and a range of temperatures, producing refined, aromatic, balanced wines; principally Malbec, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc.

Productos y sabores de Río Negro, ArgentinaGustar

Wine capital

Mendoza is the nation’s epicenter for vineyards and wine production, with 150,000 vine-covered hectares, and over 1,200 wineries across five regions. It is considered to be one of the eight wine capitals of the world.

Productos y sabores de Río Negro, ArgentinaGustar

The birthplace of Malbec

Malbec found its niche in Mendoza. The province has more than 20% of the total planted area given over to this vine, although it is also suitable for other varieties such as Bonarda, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Tempranillo. 

Bodegas (2021-03-08/2021-03-10) by Delfo RodriguezGustar

And in second place …

The uniquely warm, dry region of San Juan makes it ideal for wine growing. As the country’s second largest wine growing province, it accounts for 17% of the country’s total planted area, producing fruity, unique wines that are full of character, with Syrah as the preferred grape.

Bodegas (2021-03-08/2021-03-10) by Delfo RodriguezGustar

Mountains shrouded in legend

The Andes mountain range runs from north to south and is a natural barrier against the humid winds that blow in from the Pacific. Mendoza’s meltwater, continental climate, and variety of soils have resulted in a 50-mile strip of land with numerous variations in terroir.

Bodegas (2021-03-08/2021-03-10) by Delfo RodriguezGustar

Lightly perfumed

The perfumed, floral Torrontés grape is La Rioja’s original, flagship variant. The province has a long-standing tradition of showcasing its assets via its Torrontés Route. The route includes around twenty wineries dotted between fertile oases and arid mountain ranges.

Bodegas (2021-03-08/2021-03-10) by Delfo RodriguezGustar

Up there with the best

Salta has some of the continent’s highest vineyards, with cultivated areas in a privileged position between 5,000 and 10,000 feet above sea level. The result is a sophisticated Torrontés—its main variety—and an expressive Malbec.

Bodegas (2021-03-08/2021-03-10) by Delfo RodriguezGustar

The big leagues

Luján de Cuyo and Maipú are home to Mendoza’s most traditional wineries, but the Uco Valley, with its diverse soils, boasts the vineyards with the greatest potential in Argentina. It produces high-quality, characterful wines with global appeal.

Bodegas (2021-03-08/2021-03-10) by Delfo RodriguezGustar

Cafayate: a shining example

The town of Cafayate is 115 miles (186 km) from the city of Salta. 75% of its vineyards, and 60% of its total planted area, are concentrated in the Calchaquíes Valleys, producing lively wines with intense tannins, along a route that has 30 wineries and a vine museum.

Iglesia (2021-01-25/2021-02-01) by Humberto MartinezGustar

The gateway of the sun

In the northern provinces of Jujuy, Salta, and Catamarca, wine making takes place in the Andean valleys, between colonial villages and cactus-covered mountains. The punishing sun gives the grapes their expressiveness, with the color and intensity of the aromas in the reds becoming more concentrated.

Bodegas (2021-03-08/2021-03-10) by Delfo RodriguezGustar

Roaring twenties

With vineyards that are barely twenty years old, Neuquén is a relative newcomer to the industry. With intense, full-bodied reds with concentrated colors, and fresh, fruity, aromatic whites, this town is determined to make a lasting impression.

Bodegas (2021-03-08/2021-03-10) by Delfo RodriguezGustar

Grapes and the wind

The sun, cold nights, winds, and aridity work their magic, giving character to the reds Pinot Noir, Malbec, and Merlot; conditions that also favor Syrah and Cabernet Franc. Neuquén’s tantalizing whites include Sauvignon Blanc, Torrontés, and Chardonnay.

Mercado (2021-01-11/2021-01-13) by Ivan SlodkyGustar

Wine tasting on the road

Mendoza was also a pioneer in the development of enotourism, or wine tourism, recognizing the demand for experience-based tourism in the global travel market. 

Bodegas (2021-03-08/2021-03-10) by Delfo RodriguezGustar

More than just apples

A meandering route of ancient vineyards sits along the apple-growing region of the Alto Valle (High Valley) of the Río Negro (Black River). They include the legendary wineries of Humberto Canale and La Falda, which are experiencing something of a revival. Their slow ripening gives the wines a natural acidity, making them one of the province’s greatest assets.

Vino blanco (2021-01-20/2021-01-20) by Juan Pablo LanciottiGustar

Healthy and delicious

The rural climate is ideal for healthy vineyards, which, in return, produce excellent whites from their Sauvignon Blanc and Semillón grapes, as well as the recently revived Riesling. The best reds produced include Malbec, Pinot Noir, and Merlot.

Bodegas (2021-03-08/2021-03-10) by Delfo RodriguezGustar

The far south

The arrival of Chubut on the map has extended the boundaries of wine production, resulting in the continent’s southernmost wines which include Trevelin, Sarmiento, and Paso del Sapo. The harsh winds and cold of the steppe result in fresh wines, made mainly with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Córdoba Ischilin Jairala Oller bodegaGustar

Fruit and cold

Chubut experiences extreme cold, harsh winds and frosts throughout the season, making it ideal for wines that are fresh and tangy, with fruity notes. 

Bodega (2021-01-20/2021-01-23) by Delfo Rodríguez / Carlos Púrpura PistarelliGustar

From the center

La Pampa sits in the center of several other regions. Although part of Patagonia, its landscape has a unique appearance. Its rolling plains are home to abundant wine-producing areas in the Colorado River basin, including Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Chardonnay.

Córdoba cocinar al disco vinoGustar

From the shore

In late 2014, the winery Trapiche arrived in Chapadmalal to set up the Costa & Pampa project. Their search for an Atlantic terroir has yielded fresh, delicate whites, in particular Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and Pinot Noir.  

Bodegas (2021-03-08/2021-03-10) by Delfo RodriguezGustar

San Luis: back in the game

With its centuries-old history, San Luis experienced a revival in 2000, having industrialized its vineyards as part of the search for a local terroir. Its 120 hectares of vineyards have yielded incredible results in Merlot, Tannat, Bonarda, and Petit Verdot.

Córdoba Bodega La CaroyenseGustar

The ancient city of Cordoba

Four hundred years have passed since the Jesuits planted the first seeds in Cordoba, and the city now has a wine route covering five richly varied regions. They form part of the mountainous route that the city shares with San Luis, with an abundance of micro-climates and micro-terroirs.

Córdoba Caminos del VinoGustar

Eat, drink, and be merry

Around 245 of the country’s wineries pair wine tasting with gourmet food, offering tours of all stages of production. In 2019, they received 1,700,000 visitors.

Credits: Story

Editor: Diego Marinelli/Text: Aníbal Mendoza

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Explore more
Related theme
Argentina's Table
Grab your knife and fork and start your journey across Argentina's culinary culture
View theme
Google apps