Wine knows no limits in Argentina. You’ll find vineyards not just in Cuyo, the north and the Andes, but also in Patagonia and by the ocean. New grapes are joining malbec, the country’s winemaking emblem, such as high-altitude torrontés and southern pinot noir, plus some 18 local vines whose winemaking potential, in the experimental stages for now, could guarantee the country’s place at the forefront of New World offerings.
The Pinot Noir Route | Patagonia
The emblematic Patagonian vine and the base for Argentina’s finest sparkling wines, Pinot noir is the grape that boosted the transformation of the old fruit farms of the San Patricio del Chañar valley into the country’s youngest and most promising winemaking hub.
Just 46km from the city of Neuquen, there are guided tours to pioneering vineyards in the area (Bodega del Fin del Mundo), access to paleontological findings in the estates (Familia Schroeder) and gourmet restaurants with scenic views of the Andes (Bodega Malma), as well as limited-edition wine tastings (Secreto Patagónico). More info: sanpatricio.gob.ar and neuquentur.gob.ar
- Humberto Canale | A true rarity in the area, the vineyard was created in 1909, and is now managed by the fifth generation of the founding family. It’s only 8km from General Roca, the heart of the High Valley of Río Negro province, where apples and pears are produced for export. Tourists can book a tour of up to two days, which includes the cellars, vineyards and fruit farms; trekking, biking or running tours; river boating and picnics with wine tastings on the cliffs of the Red Moon Valley (Valle de la Luna Rojo). Bookings: bodegahcanale.com
- Otronia | A young vineyard in Chubut on the shore of Lake Munster, its motto is “On the frontier of what’s possible”. Its 50 hectares of pinot noir, chardonnay, torrontés and malbec represent the vision of Juan Pablo Murgia, who was named Young Winemaker of the Year in Argentina by Master of Wine, Tim Atkin. The nearest city, Comodoro Rivadavia, is 150km away. While there isn’t a standard tourist package yet, tours can be organized on demand. Bookings: otronia.com
- Casa Yagüe | On the second most southerly vineyard in Argentina, you can stay with the family that pioneered biodynamic winemaking in Chubut. The estate is near Trevelin and the very first vineyards were planted in 2014 to produce 100% organic pinot noir, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc. There is an incredible tasting room in the heart of a garden with edible flowers. It has three cabins for tourists. The experience takes you deep into the establishment’s other activities: a sustainable orchard and a cabin with cows and goats that abides by the rules of regenerative livestock. Bookings: https://www.instagram.com/casayague/
The Wine Route to the Sea
Wines with a coastal influence are a recent phenomenon in Argentina. They are born in young vineyards planted in remote areas of Patagonian provinces and on the fertile farming land of Buenos Aires province. Although these are experimental projects, Argentina’s main vineyards and winemakers are already betting on this category, which attracts seasoned wine enthusiasts seeking novelty and novice tasters alike.
- Buenos Aires | The Trapiche Costa y Pampa vineyard is only six kilometers from Mar del Plata, Argentina’s biggest beach city. Vineyards grow in an exceptional region that combines ocean winds and the most fertile hills in the country. The Sunset Experience is highly recommended: a tour of the vineyards when the sun starts to set, which includes seafood and wine tasting under the stars. In the store, splash out on the set of fruity and salted white wines: chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and albariño. Bookings: trapiche-costaypampa.meitre.com/
- Río Negro | The Bodega del Mar vineyard is in San Javier, a ranching town of just 3000 people. Their label Wapisa (whale) includes four cultivars that are not yet for sale. Malbec is the star of a unique experiment in Argentina that is almost without precedent worldwide: some 1,500 bottles are being stored between 15 and 20 meters underwater in the San Matías gulf. The first batch of Wapisa Underwater was tasted in 2020, after six months swaying in the marine currents. The project is ongoing, and there will soon be offerings that combine wine tasting with diving. More information on bodega-tapiz.com.ar
- Chubut | Wines of the Sea is the first and only wine to grow on the seashore. The grapes grow just five meters from the high tide mark at Bahía Bustamante, an exclusive ecolodge on the coastal steppes of Patagonia. It’s a family project with a dream team of enological advisors. The first harvest of semillón and pinot noir is in, but it hasn’t hit the market yet – it’s only available to guests at the establishment. There’s no wifi connection there, meaning your connection with nature is guaranteed – as if you needed another reason to go. Bookings: bahiabustamante.com