From the north of Argentina, down to the southern glaciers, through tropical jungle and steppes, and from the Andes cordillera, to the Atlantic Ocean, Argentina extends to include almost all biomes.
Yet, it is at the deserted foothills of the Andes where the Argentinean terroir finds its character. Mendoza, Cafayate, San Juan, Rio Negro, Neuquén and La Rioja are the most noted wine producing regions.
Poor earth, mostly sandy and alluvial on top of clay substructures.
Dry atmosphere with cool nights and hot days. Absence of phylloxera, viruses and fungus. Irrigation is done with pure water that comes from melting snow, rich in minerals. Altitude: high, very high… in some cases, the highest in the world!!!
Mendoza is the leading producer of wine in Argentina. The average vineyards in Mendoza are planted at altitudes (between) 1,970-3,610 feet (600-1,100 meters) above sea level.
The soil of the region is sandy and alluvial. The climate is continental semiarid with dry summers and more humid winters, with four distinct seasons that affect the grapevine, including winter dormancy. Irrigation system is solved by a system of ditches filled up with cold and transparent water coming directly down from the mountains around Aconcagua.
The region’s hot red banner is undoubtedly, Malbec!
Cafayate is located in the region called “Valley Calchaqui” in the Province of Salta, an elevated valley where even the highest vineyards in the world can be found!
The geographical characteristics of the site produce a greater temperature range (warm days and cooler nights) and increased exposure of the grapes to UV radiation. Rains are rare so clusters mature within approximately 350 days of sunshine. The soil is poor and sandy and the water used for irrigation is coming from snow melting as well.
The combination of these factors makes these “high altitude wines” unique: high concentration of flavors and higher levels of total acidity which contributes to the wine’s balance and depth.
This terroir is famous for its white Torrontes, an upcoming variety, as well as for its spicy Malbec.
The most outstanding representative of Patagonia is located in the province of Río Negro. Standing at an altitude of 1,200 feet, the High Valley of Río Negro has a markedly dry, continental climate, with an annual rainfall of less than 7.5 inches and very low relative humidity. Winters are cold and summers warm and dry, with abundant sunshine and great thermal amplitude. Winds blowing constantly from the southern Andes increase air dryness and allow for outstanding sanity in the vineyard.
The wines of Patagonia stand out for the perfect balance of alcohol and acidity resulting from the slow ripening of the fruit. Semillon old vines give perfect examples as well as the reds like Merlot, Malbec and Pinot Noir, with the last one standing out!