When we mention the best wines in Argentina your mind will no doubt turn straight to Mendoza. Whereas this region is the wine capital of Argentina and does indeed produce some incredible wines, you should not neglect the other famous wine-growing areas within the country. Below we have listed the best wines in Argentina by region and provided a brief description of each one.
Best wines in Argentina: Mendoza and the Malbec
Located in the foothills of the Andes, where the desert landscapes and high altitude provide the perfect conditions to produce rich, aromatic wines, Mendoza is the leading producer of wine in Argentina. It accounts for nearly three-quarters of the country's wine production and over half of the entire wine production of South America. Previously, the region was most renowned for its varieties of Cereza and Criolla Grande, but nowadays it is Malbec not only one of the best wines in Argentina but also Mendoza’s most talked about wine, the best of which is produced in sub-regions Luján de Cuyo and Maipu.
Best wines in Argentina: Salta and the Torrontes
The vineyards in Salta are some of the highest in the world producing some of the best wines in Argentina. The torrontes, planted between 4,900 and 9,900 feet. It is the pureness of the air and water at this high altitude that enables the production of high quality wines, such as the fragrant Torrontés, which is made in Cafayate. This floral white wine is made from a grape which goes by the same name and is the emblematic grape of the region, for it does not grow anywhere else in the world.
Best Wines in Argentina: Neuquen & Rio Negro means Pinot Noir
Neuquen and Rio Negro lie in the outer reaches of Patagonia, the southernmost winemaking area in Argentina, where the conditions are suited to creating cool-climate varietals. Although they are traditionally renowned for being the fruit producing centres of the country, both regions have recently seen growth in wine production, namely Pinot Noir, the most popular of the Patagonian wines.
Best Wines in Argentina: San Juan and La Rioja - Douce Noir
After Mendoza, the province of San Juan is the second largest producer of wine in Argentina. It is just over an hour from Mendoza city and, together with Mendoza and La Rioja, forms the Cuyo Region, ie the ‘land of deserts’. This region is a lot hotter and drier though, with summer temperatures regularly hitting 42°C. This warm, sunny climate means the grapes that grow in San Juan are rich in polyphenols and therefore produce wines with intense, fruity flavors such as Douce Noir, locally known as Bondarda. It also has a long history of producing sherry-style wines, brandies and vermouth.
Best Wines in Argentina: La Pampa Syrah
La Pampa is not a particularly large producer of wine, with just 531 acres of vineyards, but you can sample some highly distinctive flavours from here. The region receives very little rainfall each year but the wind blows constantly, which is beneficial to wine production as it makes for a clean, healthy environment and causes the grapes to grow thicker skins, leading to the creation of truly unique wines. Be sure to try the Syrah from La Pampa, as well as the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
If you're a wine connoisseur or just enjoy a good glass of wine in a beautiful setting, be sure to book a wine tour on your travels to Argentina. Check out our variety of Mendoza wine tours or, if you're heading to Salta, a day tour to Cafayate's wineries.
By: Milly Day – English Content Manager