Everything you need to know about the main wine regions of Mendoza, Argentina

Welcome to the new Driver in Mendoza blog! In this space we will share reviews, stories, sites of interest and information in general that may be of help to all those who wish to visit our city in the future.

In this first edition, we will be presenting the three main wine regions of Mendoza: their differences, similarities, landscapes, their most well-known wineries and labels. The regions that we will talk about in this article are: Maipú, Luján de Cuyo and Valle de Uco or Uco Valley.

1. Maipú: everything you need to know about the first wine-growing region
First of all, you should know that Maipú is a department in the province of Mendoza that was created in 1858, a fact that is not minor when talking about the long history of winemaking in Argentina. Even before its formal creation as a location, the area is definitely a pioneer in the region in terms of Argentine wine production. In our wine tours through this region, we like to highlight the way in which you will find a great mix of wineries: from the oldest and most historical, to the most modern and innovative. The region has 154 wineries and 35 olive farms, many of them open to national and international tourism. The wineries most visited by Driver in Mendoza passengers are: Familia Zuccardi, Rutini, El Enemigo (Casa Vigil), Trapiche, and Trivento, among others.

The region enjoyed an impeccable reputation as it became the richest industrial area for Argentine viticulture, even today Maipú is in the first place on the olive-growing map of the province for a significant production and quality of olives, which has marked the production of dozens of products derived from the olive tree such as oils, olives and even cosmetic products. The geography of this town is characterized by being a plain within the Mendoza territory, which together with the rivers that cross the region have allowed an optimal development of agriculture, mainly for the vine, olive trees and other fruits and vegetables.

2. Luján de Cuyo: an unmissable Malbec classic, from Agrelo to Las Compuertas
Located on the banks of the Mendoza River is the department of Luján de Cuyo, land of the world famous Malbec. A region known for its famous wineries and incredible landscapes that meet the vineyards and the Andes. This department of the province of Mendoza is located only 19km south of the capital and has managed to position itself as one of the most chosen destinations by tourists who visit Mendoza. Luján de Cuyo seems to bring together the best of Mendoza: mountains, rivers, vineyards and wineries, reservoirs and even has one of the most important gastronomic centers in Mendoza: the picturesque town of Chacras de Coria is a small urban center always at the forefront of the latest gastronomic trends, ‘Chacras’ as we people from Mendoza calls it, have become one of the must-see destinations for those who visit us. A dinner in this town followed by a walk through its main square is a must.

On the other hand, it is worth highlighting the famous Agrelo region in the world of wine, noted for its production of high quality Malbec, it has its own denomination of origin controlled since 1989, becoming the first region of Mendoza to receive this very important distinction. Agrelo is home to some of the most important wineries in Mendoza such as Catena Zapata, Viña Cobos, Chandon, Dominio del Plata, Ruca Malen and Pulenta Estate, among others. However, despite the fact that this is the best known region of Luján, we cannot forget that in this department there are also other renowned wineries such as Lagarde, Luigi Bosca, Norton and Nieto Senetiner, among a dozen other large, medium and little.

3. Valle de Uco: high altitude wines inspired by the Andes Mountains

The world-famous Uco Valley is located 90km from the City of Mendoza and extends throughout three departments of the province: Tupungato, Tunuyán and San Carlos. The newest and most innovative region in the Mendoza wine industry, specialized in high altitude wines, is located at an altitude of 1,200 meters. Valle de Uco is an area that borders the Andes mountain range and, therefore, is characterized by altitudes that range between 900 and 1700 meters high. It is the optimal combination of climatic and geographical conditions: high altitude, 250 sunny days a year, little rain and temperature range, among others, that make Valle de Uco wines unique in the world.

Within the Uco Valley, of course there are micro regions such as Gualtallary or Paraje Altamira, micro regions that stand out for having small differences with respect to the terroir of other areas of the Uco Valley. Differences that in the final result of each label seem not to be so small and that is why each of these regions has been struggling for some years to obtain its own controlled designation of origin. Among the most visited wineries in the Uco Valley are Salentein, Andeluna, Monteviejo, La Azul, Piedra Infinita de Zuccardi, Clos de los Siete and Piedra Negra.

This area, home of luxury wine tourism in Mendoza, not only has large wineries of international weight, but also in the area there are more and more luxury hotel developments specialized in providing a wine experience in Mendoza, an example of these resorts are complexes such as The Vines, Casa de Uco, Casa Petrini, Posada Salentein, Lodge Atamisque and Alpasion Lodge, among many more.