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Wine Tours Argentina
What is the success formula for doing business in South America, like Chile and Argentina?
Well, taking time for Set on either side of the Andes mountain range, Chile and Argentina both have grandiose scenery and make some of the very best New World wines.
You will see the vast, verdant plains of the pampas, the snow-covered tops of the Andes Mountains, an impressive selection of wineries and vineyards, and buzzing Buenos Aires. We will visit some of the very best vineyards as well as some excellent rising star growers, and sample some outstanding wines matched with the local gastronomy.
All this, plus a host of tourist attractions and historic sites: in short, a wine and food tour that is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
While we love all of South America, traveling to the wine areas of Chile and Argentina is special.
The cuisine is delectable and unique, the vineyards and landscapes are breathtaking, and the wineries are world class. Heading for a late dinner in the hip city of Mendoza, engaging in conversation with a Chilean wine maker, or simply saying “hola!” to the many locals we meet on our activities, reminds you that South Americans seem to have a proper balance to their lives, with friends, family, and fun co-existing with work.
This Taste Vacation takes us to the major wine areas in both Chile and Argentina. Both countries are captivating destinations for wine lovers, with an astounding range of landscapes, grape varietals and micro-climates. In Chile, we visit the Maipo, Apalta, Colchagua, Casablanca, and Aconcagua wine valleys. In Argentina, we visit the famed wine-producing areas near Mendoza: Lujan de Cuyo, Maipu, and the up-and-coming Uco Valley.
Discover a new destination in the best way possible .
Discover a new destination in the best way possible – through its cuisine! On a Taste Vacation, you’ll do just that with the guidance of an experienced food, wine, or beer expert in an intimate group setting.
Drawing on over twenty years of experience in the niche travel industry, we create unforgettable food, wine, and beer itineraries exploring the world’s premier destinations. Most of our clients choose to book a private tour but we do offer a limited number of public group tours each year. Our small group tours have only 4 – 16 people on a trip, making it possible to experience a place’s culture and hospitality on a more personal level.
You’ll enjoy all aspects of the culinary experience – exceptional wine tastings and personal blending sessions, entertaining and educational cooking classes, behind-the-scenes brewery tours, and wine- or beer-paired meals.
Discover the heart and soul of Latin America with luxury food and wine tours in Chile from Tango Tours. We’ll take you on a culinary adventure, savoring the rich reds and classic Bordeaux of Chile while discovering the local cuisine. We design deluxe Chile wine tours…
Are you still looking for the perfect gift for someone special in your life? If they love wine, we have the perfect idea. Instead of scrambling to find something at the store, consider giving the gift of a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Argentina winery tours from…
At Tango Tours, our Argentina winery tours are designed to show you everything this country has to offer. This is certainly true when it comes to Mendoza, one of the most beautiful cities in Argentina. Travel with us so you can discover the beauty, wonder, and wine…
Wine and wineries of Argentina
Indulge in an unforgettable vacation as you taste wines and local flavors on luxury wine tours of Argentina, Chile, or Napa and Sonoma Valley in Northern California.
Wines and wineries of Argentina E- book
Argentina is the pinnacle of winemaking in the New World, producing the largest quantity of wines in South America. It is one of the world’s major wine regions, attracting scores of wine lovers from around the globe every year.
The terrain and climate here are perfect fort he cultivation of Malbecs, which are produced in great volumes and the most polular variety of wine in the country. Moreover, the high altitude deserts of the eastern Andean region also produce a wide range of very high quality grapes.
A unique feature of Argentina’s wine regions is that they are alllocated far away from the cities. The results of this being that these regions are freee from pollution and the grapes are grown in young, sparsely tilled soil.
The wine regions of Argentina
Argentina wine regions are often referred to as ‘oases’ by the locals because they developed in arid and dry landscapes. These wine regions or oases can be divided into a number of regions and sub-regions.
There are high altitude wine producing regions, which includes the Colchagua Valley in the North. The valley regions in the provinces of Mendoza, La Rioja and San Juan are notable for their dry, arid landscapes. Finally in Patagonia where the low altitude oases are known fort he severe ripening periods.
Below a brief overview of the major wine regions of Argentina beginning with the northern part of the country.
The Northern region
The Northern wine producing region is known for its higher altitude vineyards and includes the Salta and Catamarca regions.
Salta is the nothernmost wine producing region in the country with over 7,900 acres of vineyards. Most of the vineyards in Salta produce fine wines, with the most well-known variety being Torrontés Riojano. The other popular varieties of wines produced here are Malbec, Tannat, Torrontes, Sauvignon and Cabernet.
However, Salta accounts for only 3% of Argentinas’s total wine production.
Cafayate is the main wine producing region in Salta and is located 1700 m. above sea leve. The region produces stunning red and white wine varieties that are characterized by distinct fruity flavors.
Catamarca is located in the Andes mountain range in north-west Argentina. Until recently Catamarca as mainly associated with the production of table grapes and raisins. It only started producing export quality wines at the beginning of the 21st century.
The region is increasingly becoming more and more particular about the quality of wines that it produces. There is also marked growth in the productiosn of Syrah, Torrontes and Malbec across the region.
With sunny weather and low rains, fertility and humidity, this region is the most popular and is also the main wine producing region in Argentina. This is where the regions of Mendoza, San Juan and La Rioja are located.
The Mendoza wine region is the undisputable wine capital of Argentina and accounts fora bout 80% of the country’s total wine production. Vineyards cover around 395.000 acres of the region and produce high quality Malbecs along with several other varieties of wines.
The Mendoza wine region is again subdivided into 5 wine producing zones, namely, the central region, the Uco Valley which is situated in the southwest of Mendoza.
La Rioja which has over 17,300 acres of land under viticulture, mainly produces two kinds of wines, traditional and industrial. The traditional wines are regional wines produced by families. La Rioja is known for its white and rose grapes and Torrontés Riojano, which constitutes 35% of the province’s wines and is one of the most popular varieties in Argentina.
La Rioja’s climate is characterized by scant rainfall, which is actually a blessing in disguise for the winemakers of this región. Less rainfall allows them to have control over irrigation by using drip technology and snow run off from the Andes. Also, the region gets a lots of sun and producers need to shade the grapes to protect them from sunburn.
The second largest wine producing region in Argentina after Mendoza, it is also a dry, semi-desert region that depends on irrigation from the Jachal and San Juan rivers as well as meltwater from the Andes. In fact, it’s one of the sunniest places on earth. But the nights are colder than the days which balances the overall heat of the region.
San Juan produces a variety of wines that include Cabernet Franc, Bonarda, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon etc.
Patagonia is in the southernmost region of Argentina and is also the coldest. The freezing temperature provide the perfect climate for cooler varietals like Pinot Noir. This part of Argentina has two major wine growing provinces, Rio Negro and Neuquén.
It has a colder climate than most of Argentina and mainly produces Malbec, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. During the British colonial era, irrigation canals were dug and both sides of the Rio Negro river which gave rise to fertile agricultural belts along the river.
The valley is again divided into three regions Alto Valle, Valle Medio and Valle Inferior. Of these, Alto Valle, which is located near the province of Neuquen, the main wine producing zone.
The first vines were planted here in 1999 and the region focuses on producing high quality, modern wines. This region is also characterized by lower temperatures, the biggest challenge bein the Patagonian winds. The most common variety of wines here are Malbec, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc.
Neuquen occupies a large portion of northern Patagonia and is located just to the south of Mendoza. However, viticulture in this region is practiced over a meagre 3500 acres of land. In 2003, the region released their first large scale vintages.
These are the major wine producing regions of Argentina that are responsible for the stunning wines the country is known for. They have been welcoming wine enthusiasts from all over the world, strengthening their tourism efforts at the same time.
The Argentinian wines
Argentina ranks 5th in the world for wine exports, and its wines have a history dating back to the Spanish colonial era, much like Argentinian cuisine. In 1557, the first vine cuttings were brought to Santiago del Estero. Grape cultivation and wine production spread to the neighboring areas first and then slowly to the rest of the country.
Besides being one of the largest wine exporters, Argentina is also the 9th largest wine producer in the world. Although previously the focus was more on quantity than quality, eventually wine producers turned their attention to quality and began to export wines in the 1990s.
Here we will discuss some of the most popular varieties of wines produced in Argentina. You will learn where they are produced, their texture and other characteristic features that make them soem of the most loved varieties.
The most popular red wines of Argentina
Malbec is a variety of red wine with high tannins, a fruity aroma and a deep color with a hint of violet. It is the most popular and widespread wine variety in Argentina. Argentina is in fact the world’s largest producer of Malbec wines.
It was brought into Argentina in the 19th century by from southwest France where it was known by the name “Cot” and since then Malbecs have thrived here, especially in Mendoza which has the best conditions for cultivation. Mendoza is home to 86% of the vineyards growing Malbecs in Argentina.
The rich, juicy flavor and the velvety smooth texture of the wine has won worldwide adoration and is already one of the most highly recognized wines globally. A good quaility Malbec will be warm, sweet and soft in your mouth and will have the most intense color and fruity aromas.
Bonarda is becoming increasingly popular among consumers around the world for its distinctive characteristics. Its stunning colors, low levels of alcohols and soft tannins, Bonarda has managed to pique the interest of New World wine lovers.
Bonarda is the most important grape variety in Argentina after Malbec. It is only produced in Argentina and has no competion anywhere else, making it one of the most common varieties of wine in Argentina.
Another distinct feature of this variety is that, while it grows throughout Argentina, it is unique in each region. Argentina Bonarda has been received with enthusiasm by the world and international wine magazines have greatly lauded this variety as well.
Cabernet Sauvignon is similar to Malbec in that it has fruity flavors, considerable tannins and rich colors. This variety of wine has a more dark fruit aroma and flavor, like blackberries or black currants with spicy and herbaceous notes.
In Argentina you will find both expensive, world-class Carbernet Sauvignons as well as simple affordable varieties.
Although this variety of wine is not as prominent in Argentina as Malbec, it is fuller and richer than its Bordeaux counterpart. Cabernet Sauvignons do well in warmer climates and require a long ripening season.
Syrah is one of the most popular of the magnificent Rhone wines. However, it managed to thrive in Argentina. This spicy, dark wine with higher tannins has become one of the hot favorites with the Argentinian for its persistent, full body and fruity notes.
Syrah can be found either on its own or in blends. In Argentina it is consumed mostly in the San Rafael and San Juan Bodegas. Grown mainly in Mendoza, you can also find unique Syrah verietals in the provinces of San Juan, Catamarca and Salta.
Merlot, orginally from the Bordeaux wine region in France, is now one of the more important and widespread red wine varietes in Argentina. Merlot is almost like Carbenet Sauvignon, except that it is fruitier, lighter and less acidic.
Merlot grapes have a tendency to develop a higher sugar content, which can contribute to a higher alcohol content in wines made from these grapes.
Merlots prefer colder climates and althought it is prone to damage in higher humidity, it bears the best grapes if the soil has a good level of humidity.
Tempranillo has a deep ruby red color with violet undertones. It has a mid-level alcohol content and often has vanilla and chocolate notes from the oak storage This variety of grape is mostly grown in Mendoza. Other regions like San Juan, La Rioja, and Rio Negro also cultivate this grape for the less acidic and lighter bodied wines.
Pinot Noir may not normally be assocaited with Argentina, but Argentinian Pinot Noir has been able to draw attention to itself in a land dominated by Malbecs.
The grapes that are made into sparkling wines have found a new home in Patagonia’s Rio Negro and Neuquen provinces. However, over the years, the cultivation of Pinot Noir has also spread to Mendoza and Salta. The grapes are also used for red wines and offer fruity and flowery aromas with a robust body.
The most popular white wines of Argentina
Torrontes is exclusively grown in Argentina and is cultivated across al the wine producing regions of the country. In fact, it is increasingly becoming the iconic white wine of Argentina. In Argentina, Torrentes is found in three varieties. The Torrontes produced in San Juan and Mendoza are more suitable for fresh consumption. The Riojano Torrontes which is grown more extensively is a dry, fruity Premium wine variety.
Sauvignon Blanc is a fine white wine variety that has a notable acidity and fuller body. The production of Sauvignon Blanc has increased over the years and unlike previously, Argentina now grows comparatively larger volumes of it. Its herbaceous aromas and sometimes smoky, spicy flavors offer a distinct taste. This wine variety is prevalent mainly in Mendoza but San Juan, Neuquen and Rio Negro also produce Sauvignon Blancs.
Chenin Blanc although cannot be found in too many varietals, has adopted very well with the terroirs of Argentina. Grown mostly in Mendoza and then in San Juan, Chenin Blanc is added to various white blend for its acidic structure and freshness.
Argentina has started producing Viognier quite recently, before that it could be found in France, along the southern coast of the Rhone River. Its peach and apricot aromas, with well-balanced citrus notes and a good alcoholic content makes it an excellent wine.
These are the most popular wine varieties in Argentina found across the different wine regions of the country. While most of the varieties were brought to Argentina from wine regions of Europe, some varieties like Torrontes are found only here.
Semillon is a dry white wine variety with tropical fruity notes and a good body. These were first planted in Argentina towards the end of the 19th century. Since it requires cool and mild conditions, it grows well in the Uco Valley and the Rio Negro Valley. It achieves a good balance and acquires honey tones in the Cuyo Regions and earthty, apple tones in the Patagonian region.
These are the most popular wine varietites in Argentina found across the different wine regions of the country. While most of these varieties were brought to Argentina from wine regions of Europe.
The wineries you should not miss on a Argentinian wine tour.
The wineries in the different wine regions of Argentina are continuously finding new ways to improve themselves, whether be it in terms of the quality of their wines or the level of hospitality they provide. Their efforts so far have been targeteed in the right direction as Argentina has emerged as one of the most important producers of wines in the world.
The wineries here have been welcoming wine lovers, serving them the best wines they produce, while pushing Argentina higher up the ladder of success and recognition. There is something about each of wine producing regions in Argentina. If you are planning to visit any of these regions, here is a list of some of the most popular wineries.
Wineries in the Northern region
The norhern wine producing region of Argentina includes Salta and Catamarca
Salta is now more famous than ever as wine lovers are gradually realizing its potential. Apart from it signature wine variety, Torrontes, this region also produces stunning reds like Malbecs and Cabernets.
It is one of Argentina’s oldest wineries and also boasts the world highest vineyards. When visiting the Colome winery you will not only be enjoying the finest of wines and food the region has to offer, but also an absolutely stunning view.
El porvenir de Cafayate
Although the winery is housed within an old yet grand structure, the inside bears a gorgeous rustic look with modern touches. It offers wine tours which are guided by the El Porvenir staff, who take you to the different parts of the winery that store the most magnificent wines coming from Cafayate.
This winery in Cafayate is owned by the Domingo family and produces high quality wines. Modern techonology combined with the unique characteristics of the Cafayate vines results in wines that are hard to ever have enough of.
Catamarca is a new addition to Argentina’s wine regions. Some of the notable wineries here are the following.
This winery located in the Catamarca province follows a family tradition of winemaking and belongs to the Logno family. You will find three varieties of red wines here, Malbec, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon and one white wine variety, Chardonnay.
Cabernet de Los Andes
This winery was founded in the year 2000 to produce biodynamic and organic wines. Being situated at a very high altitude, the winery offers stunning views.
The major wine producing regions here are Mendoza, La Rioja and San Juan
Being the major wine producing región in the country, numerous wineries, big and small have sprouted all over the region. A few of the most popular wineries here are.
The winery is a joint venture by the Catena family Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite). The winery was started with the aim to combine the French and Argentina cultures and their signature grapes Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec to make unforgettable blends.
Bodega Benegas Lynch
The winery is located only 20 min away from the Mendoza city. Built in 1901, the winery represents the old Mendoza and uses its own grapes produced in the vineyards Finca Libertad and La Encerrada to make the wines.
The winery, located in Mendoza’s Uco Valley, has a rich history that compliment sits modern winemaking practices. Its cellars and tasting rooms are located underground (8 meters), which offer a unique wine tasting experience.
Bodega Clos de los Siete
It is a project that was started in 1998 by Michel Rolland and includes four different Bodegas or wineries. The vineyards stretch over 850 hectares at the foot of the Andes. Also located in Mendoza’s Uco Valley, it pioneers in Clos de los Siete, a blend of the same name as the Project created by Michel himself by blending a part of the produce from each of the wineries.
It still preserves the original structure of the winery that was built in 1897 and takes pride in their Malbecs produce from vines that were planted 100 years ago. The winery offers excellent food and drink pairings.
It is a small but beautiful winery in Mendoza’s Maipu region. You can choose to just relax and enjoy your wines or take a self-guided tour of the winery. Try tastings from their Malbec, Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon reserves.
The winery is run by Carmelo, one of the grassroots winemakers of the region who are following in the old winemaking techniques to create unforgettable wines. Your Mendoza wine tour will not be complete without a visit to this small, rustic winery situated at the centre of Lujan de Cuyo.
Chilecito makes up 80% of La Rioja’s vineyards. Some of its most well-know wineries are:
With 500 growers La Riojana is the country’s biggest winery, the most prominent of the co-operatives and also one of the top wine exports. It is situated in Chilecito offering wine tours that educate visitors not only in winemaking, but also the winery’s rich and long history.
A winery that combine state of art wine producing techniques with the resources of its remarkable terrain. The vineyards are located 1720 feet above sea level and the winery is located near the vineyards.
The unique attributes of San Juan allow for its wines to possess differentiating qualities. The place has several well known wineries. Below are just a few of them.
Bodega Entre Tapias
Located in San Juan’s Barreal, this winery is a must visit if you are in San Juan. It is a boutique winery run by a family of growers and has a small and inexpensive wine tasting tour that includes their finest wines and huge platters of nuts and cheese.
This winery and wine hotel boutique offers excellent wines, made from grapes carefully cultivated in their own vineyards as well as those of the region. The winery offers several varieties that include Malbec, Tannat, Syrah, Cabernet Franc etc.
Champagnera Cavas de Zonda
This is quite a unique winery situated inside a cave. If offers an interesting tour of its cellars and stunning wines for tasting and purchase to go with it.
The Southern region has a host of popular wineries frequented by enthousiastic wine lovers. Here are a few of those in the Rio Negro and Neuquen provinces.
This region has the perfect climate for the production of wines that form the basis of sparkling wines, which are mainly made from the Semillon variety of grape.
Bodega Noemía Patagonia
This is where you will find some excellent qualities of Malbecs and Cabernets and some of their blends. The winery follows the culture of handpicking the grapes, so that the quality of the wines can be maintained.
A winery located in Rio Negro’s Alto valley that was founded in 1909. The winery is run by its founding member Humberto Canale’s family and his handmade techniques of winemaking are now used in combination with the most modern processes. The result is high quality wines that meet all international standards.
The San Patricio del Chañar district of Neuquen is the major wine growing region of the province, with most of the wine growing activities taking place here. The excellent weather conditions have made wine production a fast growing industry in the region. Some of the most notable wineries here are:
Bodega del fin del mundo
It is hailed as the first winery to begin wine growing activities in this region. Its vast vineyards are beautiful to explore and the winery uses state of the art techonologies for winemaking. The popular varieties of wines at Bodega del Fin del Mundo are Malbec, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon et.
This winery was founded by a family of Europeans and includes vast stretches of vineyards. What makes this winery unique is that, it used gravity to plan the winery and vineyards to function in conformity with the environment.
The winery boasts over 160 hectares of vineyards and offers informative wine tours. It mainly produces the red variety of wine including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Pinot Noir. Among the white wine varieties it produces are Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
There are plenty of wineries across Argentina’s major wine regions. However, these are only a few of the more popular ones in these regions. This list of wineries will be able to help you plan your Argentinian wine tour.
While Argentina offers a plethora of attractions for tourists, the wine tours are a truly unique Argentine experience. Wine tours have become so popular that you don’t have to be a big fan of wine to enjoy these tours. Argentina has emerged as a big player in the world of wines and has secured a strong position for itself in the international wine markets.
Wine connoisseurs from across the world recognize Argentina for its high quality wines and its ability to maintain its position as one of the world’s wine leaders. Wine tourism in this South American nation has also increased because of the wonderful hospitality and excellent food scene.
If you are a wine over and still haven’t explored Argentina’s wine regions, it’s time you seriously considered a nice and fulfillling vacation in this part of the world.
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