Argentina is one of the most significant wine-producing countries in the World, and is the largest producer of wine in South America. The high-altitude deserts are perfect for vine growing and give an extraordinary array of wines. None more famous than Malbec, but this huge country is not a one trick pony, there is so much on offer.  15 years years ago, yes there was too much over extracted and barrelled juice, but where wasn't there?

Only in the 1990s,  was business confidence in Argentina sufficient to justify the investment needed to drag its wineries into the twentieth century, and exports on a serious scale are a fraction of what they could be. The distinguishing feature of Argentine wine was for a long time the extraordinarily high yields from overhead trellises called parral with reliably sun-ripened grapes literally pumped full of melted Andean snow via irrigation channels constructed in the nineteenth century.

Since the late 1980s vines have begun to be planted in cooler areas deliberately to prolong the ripening process, and trained carefully on wires for maximum quality of the resulting fruit. No wine producing country in the world made more progress in the closing years of the twentieth century (viticulturally and oenologically, if not necessarily financially).

 Now winemakers have found their confidence in their vines and territory and there is a huge increase in terroir driven wines, perhaps an overused word that only Burgundy can claim as her own? But none the less, more nuanced wines and plenty of experimentation makes Argentina a hot destination for winemakers. What makes viticulture in Argentina so interesting is the lack of rainfall and the huge thermal amplitudes between day and night in these high altitude desert like conditions. This altitude coupled with a hot, dry climate are a winemakers dream. Poor alluvial and rocky terrain with low levels of organic matter mean water drainage is ideal with sunlight bathed days followed by cooler nights give the grapes high phenolic concentrations. These are generally big wines.

The main Argentine wine region, Mendoza, is tucked up against the Andes and a long way from the capital Buenos Aires but less than an hour’s spectacular flight over the Andes from Santiago, the capital of Chile and its wine industry.

Malbec was for years Argentina’s most planted red wine grape producing rich, intensely fruity and agable wines.  Cabernet Sauvignon does extremely well as does Cabernet Franc despite its tricky nature in the vineyard.

The second most important wine region in terms of quantity is San Juan immediately north of Mendoza, but it is even hotter and is generally better suited to Syrah.

Around 70% of the countries total wine production takes place in Mendoza, and in addition to Malbec, there are significant plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Bonarda plus a whole host of smaller vineyards given way to Spanish and Italian varieties with varying success.  If you are coming to Argentina then we feel Mendoza and Salta are the places to enjoy a wine and food immersion, where scenery and a new culture are to explore and appreciate. Mendoza is by far the largest wine region in Argentina. Here, the sub regions of Lujan de Cuyo, Maipu and the Uco Valley are all massively important.

The other area of interest to us are the high-altitude vineyards around Cafayate in the province of Salta in the far north of the country. The local Torrontes is a white aromatic variety that has an such intense floral nose it feels like exporting would loose a good part of that. Reds well Malbec, Syrah, Cabernet and Tannat all thrive here.  The highest vineyards in the world are in Salta,  Donald Hess's Colomé estate has vines at altitudes of over 3,000 m (9,800 ft) above sea level.

Salta is a breathtaking, mountainous region that has incredible vine growing conditions coupled with a totally different attitude and peoples. You do not need to be just into amazing wine to come to this region. It is incredible, full stop, come and you will not regret it one second. With the highest non irrigated vineyards in the world, outstanding views, valleys and scenery with only one problem. Time; do not come and rush this, we cannot make Salta region happen in less than 6 nights, and Jujuy is another incredible 2 nights as well. That is a chunk out of anyones time, but Salta deserves it, remember Argentina is vast. Here in the Altiplano its totally different. Here reside mountain people, a whole other country, think that Mendoza is 1000 miles south. Soils similar to Mendoza in that they are predominantly alluvial i.e. sandy topsoil with a clay base. Wines from this region are generally balanced, bright and intense wines sometimes reaching 15 degrees alcohol.

So thats a quick recap on the main zones we are interested in from a wine touring perspective, yes Further south into Patagonia there are interesting Merlot and Pinot to be had, but visitign these regions is really only reserved to Wine professionals due to the distances and lack of Eno Touristic offerings.

Here is a an overview of some of the wineries we like to visit or taste and enjoy.

Table of contents


Wineries in Lujan de Cuyo Valley, Argentina

Bodega Catena Zapata
Winemaker: Alejandro Vigil
Annual production: unknown
Hectares: 150
Wines: Nicasia Vineyard Wines, Saint Felicien Wines, DV Catena Wines, Angelica Wines, Catena Zapata Wines, Catena Alta Wines, Catena Wines

Bodegas Krontiras
Winemaker: Constantinos Krontiras and Silvina Macipe-Krontiras
Annual production: unknown
Hectares: 12
Wines: Dona Silvina Wines, Solar del Alma Malbec

Finca Decero
Winemaker: Tomás Hughes
Annual production: unknown
Hectares: 110
Wines: Decero AmanoDecero Mini EdicionesDecero Clásicos

Trapiche
Winemaker: Daniel Pi
Annual production: unknown
Hectares: 1255
Wines: Oak Cask WinesBroquel WinesTerroir SeriesPersonalities

Zorzal Wines
Winemaker: Matías Michelini and Juan Pablo Michelini
Annual production: 18,750 cases
Hectares: 70
Wines: Terroir Unico Wines, Gran Terroir Wines, Specialties

Achaval Ferrer Winery
Winemaker: Gustavo Rearte, Roberto Cipresso and Santiago Achaval
Annual production: 15,000 cases
Hectares: 12
Wines: Fincas Wines, Cuimera, Mendoza Line Wines

Benegas Winery
Winemaker: Federico Benegas Lynch
Annual production: unknown
Hectares: 110
Wines: Estirpe Wines, Estate Wines, Benegas Lynch Wines

Caelum Winery
Winemaker: Giuseppe Franceschini
Annual production: 5,830 cases
Hectares: 30
Wines: Classic Wines, Reserve Wines, Nuova Dolce Wines, Eclat Wines

Carmelo Patti Winery 
Winemaker: Carmelo Patti
Annual production: 5,500 cases
Hectares: 8
Wines: Gran Assemblage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec

Casarena Winery
Winemaker: Bernardo Bossi Bonilla
Annual production: unknown
Hectares: 300
Wines: Casarena Icono, Casarena DNA WinesSingle Vineyard Wines, Reservado Wines, Casarena Estate Wines, 505 Vineyard Wines, Ramanegra Wines

Cassone Winery
Winemaker: Celestino Cassone
Annual production: unknown
Hectares: 110
Wines: Obra Prima Wines, La Forencia Wines, Cassone Wines, Siete Cuchillos

Cobos Winery
Winemaker:Luis Barraud, Noelia Torres, Paul Hobbs and Andrea Marchiori
Annual production: unknown
Hectares: 50
Wines: Cobos WinesBramare Vineyard Designate Wines, Bramare Appellation Wines, Cocodrilo, Felino Wines

Cruzat Winery
Winemaker: Pedro Federico Rosell
Annual production: unknown
Hectares: unknown
Wines: Cruzat Reserve Nature, Cruzat Reserve Extra Brut, Cruzat Clasico Brut

Domaine St. Diego Winery
Winemaker: Angel Mendoza
Annual production: 2,000 cases
Hectares: 3,5
Wines: White WinesRed Wines, Sparkling Wines

Dominio del Plata Winery
Winemaker: Gustavo Bertagna and Sebastian Gáva
Annual production: 35,000 cases
Hectares: 21
Wines: Crios Wines, Susana Balbo Wines, Nosotros Wines, Benmarco Wines

Kaiken Winery
Winemaker: Aurelio Montes Jr and Rogelio Rabino
Annual production: unknown
Hectares: 250
Wines: Reserva Wines, Kaiken Terroir Wines, Ultra Wines, Mai, Brut

MaterVini Winery
Winemaker: Santiago Achaval and Roberto Cipresso
Annual production: 2,500 cases
Hectares:
Wines: Chacayes Tinto, Alteza Wines

Melipal Winery
Winemaker: Victoria Pons
Annual production: 50,000 cases
Hectares: 87
Wines: Melipal Wines, Ikella Wines

Mendel Winery
Winemaker: Roberto de la Mota and Luis Perocco
Annual production: 6,500 cases
Hectares: 30
Wines: Finca Remota Malbec, Mendel Unus, Mendel Wines, Lunta Wines

Pulenta Estate Winery
Winemaker: The sons of the Pulenta family
Annual production: unknown
Hectares: 110
Wines: La Flor Wines, Pulenta Estate Wines, Single Vineyard Wines, Great Pulenta Wines, Limited Edition Wines

Renacer Winery
Winemaker: Pablo Sanchez
Annual production: unknown
Hectares: 35
Wines: Punto Final Wines, Enamore, Renacer

Vistalba Winery
Winemaker: Alejandro Cánovas
Annual production: 25,000 cases
Hectares: 450
Wines: Vistalba Wines, Tomero Wines, Progenie Wines,

Walter Bressia Winery
Winemaker: Walter Bressia
Annual production: 2,500 cases
Hectares: 20
Wines: Bressia Ultima Hoja, Bressia Conjuro, Bressia Profundo, Lagrima Canela, Monteagrelo Wines, Bressia Royale

Wineries in Uco Valley, Argentina

Andeluna Winery
Winemaker: Manuel González
Annual production: 60.000 cases
Hectares: 80
Wines: Pasionado Wines, Andeluna Altitud Wines, Andeluna 1300 Wines

Atamisque Winery
Winemaker: Philippe Caraguel
Annual production: 31.250 cases
Hectares: 80
Wines: Atamisque Wines, Catalpa Wines, Serbal Wines, Espumantes Wines

Bousquet Winery
Winemaker: Miguel Lenyn Martinez and Emilio Abrahan
Annual production: 155.000 cases
Hectares: 110
Wines: Chardonnay, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot

Corazon del Sol Winery
Winemaker: Santiago Achaval
Annual production: unknown
Hectares: 7
Wines: Uco Valley MalbecLuminoso G.S.M Blend, Soleado, Malbec Gran Reserva

DiamAndes Winery
Winemaker: Federico Bizzotto
Annual production: 56.250 cases
Hectares: 130
Wines: Grande Reserve Wines, DiamAndes de Uco Wines, Perlita Wines, Diamandina Wines, Rosados Wines, Clos de Los

Gimenez Riili Winery
Winemaker: Pablo Martorell
Annual production: 7.800 cases
Hectares: 18
Wines: Joyas de Familia Wines, Gran Familia, Padres Dedicados Wines, Buenos Hermanos Wines, Espumante Wines

La Azul Winery
Winemaker: Pablo Matorell
Annual production: 6.250 cases
Hectares: 120
Wines: Malbec, Cabernet, Azul Reserva, Azul Gran Reserva

Los Arbolitos Winery
Winemaker: Marcelo Canatella
Annual production: unknown
Hectares: 409
Wines: Many varietals

Monteviejo Winery
Winemaker: Marcelo Pelleriti
Annual production: 80.000 cases
Hectares: 130
Wines: Festivo Wines, Lindaflor Wines, Petit Fleur Wines, La Violeta

O Fournier Winery
Winemaker: José Mario Spisso
Annual production: 21.000 cases
Hectares: 386
Wines: O Fournier Wines, Alfa Crux Wines, B Crux Wines, Urban Uco Wines

Salentein Winery
Winemaker: Jose Galante
Annual production: 100.00 cases
Hectares: 800
Wines: Gran Vu Blend Wines, Salentein Primus Wines, Salentein Single Vineyard Wines, Salentein Numina Wines, Salentein Reserve, Killka Wines, Portillo Wines, Sparkling Wines

Sophenia Winery
Winemaker: Lic. Germán Masera and winemaker Matías Michelini
Annual production: 135.000 cases
Hectares: 130
Wines: Sophenia Wines, Altosur Wines, E.S. Vino Wines

Wineries in Salta, Argentina

Cachi

Isasmendi Winery
Winemaker: Jean Paul Bonnal
Annual production: 625 cases
Hectares: 3
Wines: Familia Isasmendi, Jean Paul Bonnal, Cellarius Blend, Cellarius Torrontés

Cafayate

Domingo Molina Winery
Winemaker: Rafael Domingo
Annual production: 50.000 cases
Hectares: 160
Wines: Finca Domingo WinesHermanos WinesDomingo Molina WinesM2 Malbec x MalbecRupestrePalo Domingo

El Porvenir Winery
Winemaker: Paul Hobbs and Mariano Quiroga Adamo
Annual production: 17.000 cases
Hectares: 18
Wines: El Porvenir, Laborum Wines, Amauta Wines

José Luis Mounier Winery
Winemaker: José Luis Mounier
Annual production: 4.200 cases
Hectares: 25
Wines: Reserva, Fina las Nubes, Torrontes, Rosado, Espumante

Piattelli Winery
Winemaker: Valeria Antolin and Alejandro Nesman
Annual production: 14.000 cases
Hectares: 95
Wines: Grand Reserve Wines, Premium Reserve Wines

San Pedro de Yacochuya
Winemaker: Arnaldo Etchart
Annual production: 2,500 cases
Hectares: 16
Wines: YacochuyaSan Pedro de Yacochuya (Malbec, Torrontes, Cabernet and Malbec)

Calchaqui Valley

Colomé Winery
Winemaker: Thibaut Delmotte
Annual production: 32.000 cases
Hectares: 150
Wines: Altura Máxima, Colomé Wines, Lote Especial Wines

Humanao Winery
Winemaker: Luis Azmet
Annual production: unknown
Hectares: 16
Wines: Humanao Reserva, Malbec, Sauvignon Blanc, Humanao Torrontes, Cabernet Sauvignon

Bodega Tacuil
Winemaker: Raul Davalos
Annual production: 800 cases
Hectares: 10
Wines: Davalos Wines, 33 de Davalos, Dona Ascencion, Raul Davalos

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