The Wine Industry in Argentina
The wine industry in Argentina has seen growth, especially over the last five years. Its production standard has reached fifth in the world with exports growing steadily, especially to the United States. Most of Argentina’s growth has been due to increased quality in wine and with foreign investments, Argentina has had much success becoming a leader in the industry.
Argentina Wine Regions
The wines of Argentina are produced in many regions, spanning over 2000km. Mendoza is most popular and perhaps the biggest, at least in terms of production. Responsible for 80% of Argentina’s wine production Mendoza rests alongside the Andes, where irrigation from the mountains and high altitudes are favorable for wine growth. Argentina’s other wine regions include: Salta, Rio Negro, San Juan, La Roja and even Patagonia. Patagonia aside, these wine regions all reside on the western border of Argentina where run off from the Andes can irrigate the vineyards, but warmer inlands are available for producing fine grapes. The altitude of Argentina’s wine regions is also of note. While the vineyards in Mendoza are shielded from harsh temperatures, the vineyards residing in Argentina’s north are located at a much higher altitude to ensure the grapes receive cooler air.
In Mendoza, a variety of grapes are produced. A large number of hectares are usually dedicated to the Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. However, because of Mendoza’s size and climate, most vineyards also have success in producing Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah. Salta’s wine region in the north of Argentina is known for its high quality Cabernet and for growing the Torrontes grape which produces flavorful Chardonnays with much success. In the Rio Negro region, cooler climates allow for the production of cool climate varieties like Pinot Noir and high quality Sauvignon Blancs. The regions success in sparkling wines and Champagnes are also of note, with this southern region producing distinctively different wines than its northern counterparts.
Argentina Wine Tourism
Because of Argentina’s large boom in the wine industry, and its country’s increase in tourism, the wine industry has seen a large influx of tourists to its many regions. Many of the wineries have converted into hotels or inns, where visitors can enjoy their passion for wine as well as fine living. The combination of travel and wine is the corner stone of success for popularly visited regions like Mendoza where during the peak season over 70,000 visitors invade the city for the wine festival in March. Besides the production of wine, the region has other areas of interest to offer and the economy has responded favorably to the influx of visitors. Although any time of year is perfect for a visit, peak seasons are usually in the spring and fall when the weather is temperate although the season runs high from September to June.