Several other provinces in Argentina, such as Salta, Córdoba and San Juan, produce wine, but Mendoza is the star of the show due to the incredible diversity of its production.
Its wines range between world-famous, award-winning malbecs, and simple vino patero (foot-pressed wine). That diversity is also evident in Mendoza’s terroir. The eastern department of Maipú – home to big-name wineries such as Trapiche, Zuccardi and López – reaches 700 metres above sea level, while hotspot Uco Valley, a more southerly region in the shadow of the the Andes, tips 1,100 metres. These areas have distinctive microclimates that hold the key to Mendoza’s extensive and exciting portfolio.
Malbec clearly rules the roost in Mendoza (it is World Malbec Day on 17 April) and has made its home in Luján de Cuyo – Argentina’s first denomination of origin (DOC) – and sub-districts such as Chacras de Coria, Vistalba and Agrelo. Bordeaux reds such as cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc also fare well, while native grape torrontés riojano, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and viognier are waving the flag for the whites.
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