The Mendoza Wine Industry
Mendoza produces more wine than any other Argentina wine region. Some of the finest malbec wines in the world come from this area. Responsible for over 80% of the countries wine production, Mendoza is making a name for itself worldwide for its high quality wines and tourist friendly atmosphere.
Nestled at the foot of the Andes separating Chile from Argentina, Mendoza enjoys climates that are ideal for growing. Enjoying just over 300 days of sunshine Mendoza’s quality grapes are grown in the rich soil of the Andes, and because of cool nights and warm days, growing conditions are ideal.
Mendoza houses over 900 wineries scattered throughout its different regions. Mendoza’s centrally located region is closest to downtown and perhaps the most popularly visited because of its proximity to the city. The sub-regions in the center are Lujan, Maipu and Valle Uco, which is considered different from the other two because of size and altitude differences. The Northern region of Mendoza contains the high zone of Mendoza river although the altitudes are much lower than in Medoza’s other regions. The East of Mendoza is the most productive wine-growing region and represents Mendoza’s largest sector with over 70,000 hectares dedicated to growth. The South of Mendoza is characterized by the sub-region of San Rafael, an area known for its tourist appeal because of its proximity to nature and rivers for outdoor sports.
The wineries in Mendoza represent three areas of influence the industry has received over time. The first is large family wineries owned by Argentine growers who have been present for long periods of time. Many of these wineries have seen the largest change in Mendoza’s wine industry and have had to gear their wineries towards higher quality to remain in the market. Many have achieved this goal and visiting wineries with generations of history are what make the region so historically rich. The influence of foreign investment in the region is strong and many wineries are a reflection of foreign investments trying to improve exports with large contracts and production. Finally, small wineries known as "boutique" wineries are littered throughout the beautiful plains of Mendoza where tours and long afternoons sampling wines are popular amongst most visitors.
Mendoza is popular for Argentine visitors as well as foreigners and its featured grape, the Malbec is making waves within both groups. While this grape is certainly a sore spot for Chile because of its popularity and success in Argentina, Mendoza is equally renowned in the production of other fine reds, such as malbec, and white wines.