Wine producing regions of Mendoza

Wine producing regions of Mendoza

 

Viticulture in Mendoza

 

When speaking about the origin of viticulture in Argentina, we must go back many years until we arrive to the time of Spanish colonization.
By then, the cultivation of grapes was a frequent activity of the Spaniards who settled in the new territories. The cultivation therefore became indispensable for the production of wine and raisins which were consumed by the colonists and by the missionaries that accompanied the advancement through America and who needed the wine for the celebration of Mass.

The first species of grapevines arrived to South America, more precisely Peru, in the middle of the XVI century. From there they were passed on to Chile and by 1551 they were already introduced into Argentina, spreading rapidly throughout the Center, West and Northwest regions of Argentina.

The first vineyards in Mendoza were cultivated between the years 1569 and 1589. With the passing years, the development of viticulture became wide spread due to the favorable quality of the soil and the local climate. In this way, the landscape of Mendoza, characterized by an arid desert, has been transformed into a large productive oasis.

By the year 1600, Mendoza was producing such a significant quantity of wine that it began to explore new horizons where it could locate its production. The first destinations were Buenos Aires and El Literal (N-E Argentina), and at a later time Mendoza extended its incipient exports to Chile and later on to Spain and England.

With the passing centuries and thanks to the valuable contribution of European immigrants who settled in the province, Mendoza began to cultivate diverse grape-vines for the production of fine wines.


Mendoza Argentina Regiones vinícolas

The local viticulture continued its uninterrupted path to perfection with the quality of grapes that would convert Mendoza into one of the Great Wine Capitals of the World, together with San Francisco and the Napa Valley (United States), Bilbao and La Rioja (Spain), Oporto (Portugal), Bordeaux (France), Florence (Italy), Cape Town (South Africa) and Mainz Rheinhessen (Germany).

Today, the province of Mendoza is the producer of more than 70% of all the wine produced in Argentina, utilizing more than 150.000 hectares (371.000 acres) of vineyard cultivation and possessing the greatest number of wineries in all of the country.
The altitude where the vineyards are cultivated, the thermal range, the lack of precipitation and the great number of sunny days, together with the quality of soil, all play a fundamental role in understanding the excellence of the wines of Mendoza.

As a result of this exceptional quality, the wines of Mendoza annually receive numerous prizes and distinctions in the most famous international competitions.

Vinos en Mendoza

 

Mendoza Wine Country

The Province of Mendoza is divided into three wine growing regions.

Central Region

Geographically located in the north of the province, it is the most extensive region in Mendoza. It includes the zones Alta del Rio Mendoza (The Mendoza River Highland), East and North and occupies the departments of Maipú, Luján de Cuyo, Junín, Santa Rosa, San Martín, Rivadavia, Lavalle, Guaymallén, Godoy Cruz and Las Heras.

The cultivation zone of the Central region is located at an elevation between 650 and 1,050 meters above sea level.

The grape varieties that are best adapted to the Alta del Rio Mendoza zone are the following:

Reds: Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Boyarda, Syrah and Sangiovese.
Whites:  Chardonnay and Semillón

The grape varieties that are best adapted to the East zone are the following:

Reds: Malbec, Bonarda, Tempranillo, Sangiovese, Barbera, Merlot and Syrah
Rosé: Great Creole, Pink Moscatel, Cherry
Whites: Pedro Ximénez, Ugni Blanc and Chenin Blanc

The grape varieties that are best adapted to the North zone are the following:

Reds: Malbec, Bonarda, Barbera
Whites: Chenin Blanc, Pedro Ximénez. Ugni Blanc and Torrontés


Vinos en Mendoza


The Uco Valley Region

This region includes the departments of Tunuyán, Tupungato and San Carlos.
The cultivation encompasses areas situated between 850 and 1400 meters above sea level.

The grape varieties that are best adapted to the Uco Valley Region are the following:

Reds: Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Bonarda, Pinot Noir y Syrah.
Whites: Chardonnay, Semillón, Torrontés y Pedro Ximenez

South Region

This region includes the departments of de San Rafael and General Alvear.
The cultivation zone of the South Region is located at an elevation between 450 and 800 meters above sea level.

The grape varieties that are best adapted to the South Region are the following:

Reds: Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese, Syrah y Bonarda
Whites: Chenin Blanc, el Semillón, Torrontés y Chardonnay.



Wine producing regions of Mendoza
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