Mendoza: the Sun & Wine provinceWorld Capital of Wine
Mendoza, World Wine Capital, is the main winemaking province of Argentina, producing more than 80% of domestic wine, and has more than 395,000 acres of vineyards. It is undoubtedly a center of reference for the wine industry in Argentina and South America.
There are five large oases in Mendoza: North, East, Center, South and Uco Valley (Valle de Uco).
It includes the municipalities of Lavalle, Guaymallén and Las Heras. It covers the lowest altitude areas irrigated by Río Mendoza.
Altitudes range between 1,900 and 2,300 feet above sea level, with mild slopes. Fine sand predominates in the soils. The region is well-suited to the production of white wines such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin, Ugni Blanc and Torrontés, and for reds like Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bonarda and Malbec.
The East of Mendoza is indeed a winemaking power, if one is to consider the extent of the vineyards and the number of wineries established in the area. With altitudes decreasing from 2,400 to 2,100 feet, it presents substantial differences in climate, soil and temperature range depending on the area.
This subregion comprises the departments of Rivadavia, San Martín, La Paz and Santa Rosa.
All the grape varieties grown in Argentina are found in the East, but Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin, Torrontés and Viognier stand out among the whites, and Sangiovese, Syrah, Bonarda and Tempranillo stand out among the reds.
This old, traditional winemaking region covers the departments of Luján de Cuyo and Maipú and is known as the “premium winemaking area (primera zona)” of Argentina. Such name is no coincidence: it reflects the prestige earned by its wines, historically ranking among the best in the country. Its privileged location to the south of the city of Mendoza, its ideal altitudes and the quality of its soils have significantly contributed to its prestige.
Altitude ranges from 2,130 to 3,500 feet above sea level.
Its most characteristic variety is Malbec, which yields the iconic wine of the region, the province and the country. Other red varieties found here include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Syrah. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc stand out among the whites.
This subregion features the highest altitude vineyards in the province, at more than 5,580 feet above sea level. The Uco Valley comprises the Tupungato, Tunuyán and San Carlos departments.
It stands out for its ideal conditions for the production of top quality grapes, yielding both white and red wines with great aging capacity.
The most traditional varieties here are the Malbec, Merlot and Pinot Noir of La Consulta district. White varieties grown in the area include Chardonnay and Semillon.
Located between latitudes 34° 5’ and 35° south, it comprises the San Rafael and General Alvear departments.
Altitudes of this region come down from 2,600 to 1,480 feet above sea level.
It is the main producer of a traditional variety: Chenin.
Other whites and reds are produced in this area, among which stand out Chardonnay, Malbec, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.