Mendoza is arguably recognised as the most important wine producing area in Argentina. Having planted over 150,000 hectares of vineyards across the region (accounting for nearly 70% of the entire vineyard area of Argentina) and produced from more than 1000 wineries from varied sizes.
The Malbec varietal is the iconic wine in the region and country, though it is not the only grape varietal grown here: Bonarda, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Tempranillo, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc - along with Chardonnay, Pedro Giménez, Torrontés, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier. The Mendoza wine region for the past few years has been experiencing a restructuring towards high-end winemaking - and with great success.

 

The regions soils are a varied mix, alluvial with rocky subsoil, plus sediments of sand, silt and clay and a little organic matter which helps to restrain the grapevine’s growth - resulting in excellent quality grapes ideal for winemaking. The wine geography in Mendoza can be divided in 5 great areas. Each of them presenting specific characteristics and differentiating from one another quite notably according to location, height and soil composition. Northern Mendoza - Eastern Mendoza - Mendoza River Area - Uco Valley and Southern Mendoza.
In the rain shadow of the Andes, Argentina is for the most part an arid landscape, but like Chile it benefits from a supply of irrigating water off the mountains. Unlike Chile however, the generally warmer inland region can support vine growing down the length of the country.
In the north, the vineyards lie at the same latitude as Morocco; in the south, vineyards share latitude with New Zealand. One of the keys to growing quality wine grapes here is altitude, with vineyards planted at between 600 and 920 meters above sea-level to exploit the cooler temperatures.
A quality-oriented industry has identified a number of vineyard sites ideal for quality and terroir focused wine styles. Certainly, Mendoza holds an enviable diversity in this respect. Mendoza is described by the locals as 'the land of mountains and Malbec'. Producers like Chakana are producing some of the regions best Malbec wines, along with quality Cabernet, Merlot and increasingly impressive Syrah’s. Many wineries have been subject to foreign investment from top European Estates. A number of internationally renowned Malbecs are being made in the sub-region of Lujan de Cuyo and Maipu.