Mendoza is the largest wine region in the heart of Argentina, producing over three quarters of the country’s wine. It is also home to 85% of the Malbec grown in Argentina. The high altitudes (450-1600 meters above sea level) and its location at the base of the Andes Mountains creates an ideal growing condition. Mendoza’s various landscapes and a continental climate with warm days and cool nights, creates grapes that are bright, and complex.
The Uco Valley is an important subregion in Mendoza. Situated along the Tunuyan River, Uco Valley is home to Argentina’s most famous wines. The various soils and climate types allow them to make many different wines in this region from juicy Malbec to light and crisp Sauvignon Blanc.
San Juan is the 2nd largest wine producing region with 16% of the total area planted in Argentina. They focus on traditional European grape varieties grown in a series of valleys and spread across the center -west of the region. Although Malbec is the most planted grape, Syrah is not far behind.
Salta is the primary region in the north. The vineyards start at an altitude of 1530 meter above sea level. When vineyards are this high up, the dry conditions help reduce the mildew caused by humidity and the pests that would typically be damaging or eating the grapes.
Originally a grape used in the iconic Bordeaux blend, Malbec has thrived in sunny warm Argentina, bringing this region into the spotlight. In high elevation, the Malbec skins are thick and have a deeper concentration of flavour creating wines that are dark purple, rich, and full of ripe fruity plum and cherry flavour. When aged in oak, it adds notes of vanilla and chocolate with silky tannins.
Food pairing: Try it with grilled meats like beef and pork, and cheeseburgers, or portabella mushrooms. Cheddar or Gouda cheese and salty snacks will also be a great match for a Malbec.
This is Argentina’s signature white grape. This grape produces a light yellow wine with vibrant floral aromas with notes of lemon and peaches. Don’t let the fruity aromas fool you, this wine is dry with a refreshing crisp finish.
Food pairing: Try it with spicy coconut curries and Thai food. The light crispness will pair well with fish and other seafood as well as light dishes.
Did you know?
In 2021, Argentina was the 7th largest wine producing country in the world.
Malbec World Day has been celebrated on April 17th since 2011.
A vineyard owned by Bodega Colomé in Salta sits at 3000 meters above sea level!