Without doubt the most important province in Argentinian wine production, accounting for around 75 percent of the total vineyards in Argentina. The highest peaks of the Andes are found in Mendoza, with Aconcagua sitting at around 6960 MASL. The presence of the Andes, which acts as a barrier to the humid winds of the Pacific, help shape the climate, generating ideal conditions for the cultivation of vines.
Viticulture in Mendoza covers around 150,000 hectares, of which Maipu and Lujan de Cuyo are the principal wine growing areas.
Lujan de Cuyo
Lujan was Argentina's first delineated appellation, established in 1993 and has become recognised globally for outstanding Malbec. Vineyards are situated between 800 - 1100 MASL, giving grapes that all important diurnal range, bringing freshness and balance to the wines from this region. Producers such as Susana Balbo Wines and Vina Cobos are located here.
Just a few minutes from the city of Mendoza, Maipu is lower in elevation in comparison to Lujan, with a warmer climate and heavier, clay soils. It's home to some of Mendoza's biggest names and producers, including Rutini and Zuccardi, and Malbec, unsurprisingly, Malbec thrives here. Other red grapes that enjoy the Maipu soils include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir.
Situated approximately 3 hours drive south from Mendoza, the climate here is slightly cooler, so you will see softer, medium-bodied Malbec, Syrah and Bonarda. Pinot Noir is grown by the sparkling bodegas, including the famous Mumm Champagne brand, and Pinot Noir is now also being explored for single varietal wines.
You could almost describe the Uco Valley as the new kid on the block. This relatively young wine region, about an hour south of the city of Mendoza, is gaining huge popularity for its high-altitude, terroir driven wines. Important sub regions in the Uco Valley include La Consulta, home to Bodega Altocedro, Altamira, Gualtallary, Tunuyan, Tupungato and Vista Flores. Zuccardi's Uco Valley winery has recently been voted 'World's Best Vineyard!
Malbec dominates production, but Bonarda, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Tempranillo also stand out among its predominant varieties.
Given the scale of the region you will also find smaller plantings of grapes such as Semillon, Tempranillo, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc.
Not sure where each region is? Download our regions map.