Argentina is South America’s biggest vineyard and so much more than the land of the finest malbec. It’s the perfect mix of the Old and the New World of wine, thanks to a perfect ratio of latitude, altitude, and unique mountains.
There are 320 vineyards open for tourists across 14 provinces. In 2022, the favorite destinations for wine tourism were Mendoza (58%), San Juan (16%), and Salta (8%) — here’s what you shouldn’t miss if you visit.
The Malbec Road | Mendoza
One of the 5 Wine Capitals of the World, the province concentrates 95% of Argentina’s vineyards. There are as many maps and wine routes as there are wine tourists — with activities for expert drinkers, enthusiasts, and amateurs. The bountiful options include hot-air balloon rides over the vineyards, wellness circles at wine spas, five-star restaurants in award-winning vineyards, rock festivals among the vines, boutique wine lodges, and even yoga retreats at the estates.
More info: mendoza.tur.ar, mendozawinetours.com, mendozawineexperience.com, busvitivinicola.com and wineandride.com.ar
- Zuccardi Valle de Uco | Known as Piedra Infinita, this spectacular vineyard is managed by the third generation of a pioneering family. Apart from a guided tour of the vineyards, oak barrels, and concrete amphoras, you can have lunch in one of the finest restaurants in the province that serves only 50 people at the foot of the Andes mountains. Bookings: www.zuccardiwines.com
- Trapiche | Founded in 1883, it’s one of the oldest wineries in Argentina. The main building, an architectural gem from 1912, hosts the most comprehensive and entertaining wine museum in Mendoza. The Experiencia Trapiche restaurant offers a modern menu of regional flavors led by Lucas Bustos, the finest winery chef in the country. Reservations: trapiche.com.ar
- Clos de los 7 | The living dream of Michel Rolland, the world-renowned French oenologist and wine-making consultant who provided guidance for more than 300 wineries across the world. Together with a group of families linked to the prestigious Grands Crus in Bordeaux, he bought 850 hectares just 8 kilometers away from the mountains. There, four wineries are crafting high-end organic and vegan wines as well as offering tours, wine tastings, gastronomy, and exclusive accommodation. Reservations: bodegarolland.com, cuvelierlosandes.com, monteviejo.com.ar and www.diamandes.com
The Syrah Road | San Juan
San Juan is the second-largest winemaking province in Argentina, a tradition that goes back to the 17th century. Most of the wineries are located in a range of valleys where the country’s most abundant Syrah vines grow.
More info: sanjuan.tur.ar and rutadelvinosanjuan.com.ar
- Callia | The company is part of the Salentein Family of Wines, a group of Dutch capitals with investments in Argentina’s finest terroirs. What they have on offer for visitors is up to the task: there is a tour of the vineyards and the winery that includes participation in the pruning or the harvest (depending on the time of the year) with agronomist guides and an exclusive wine-tasting to top it off. You can also book experiences that pair wine and cheese or chocolate — as well as wine tastings straight from the oak barrels. Reservations: bodegascallia.com
- Graffigna Yanzón| The first vineyards were planted in 1870 by an Italian immigrant. The boutique winery retains a family-run spirit in its restaurant. Accommodation at the guest house is limited to 20 people and defines itself as a slow travel destination. Reservations: https://www.instagram.com/bodegagraffignayanzon/?hl=es
- Cara Sur | It’s located in Barreal, the area with the best winds for land sailing. The young winery is the project of a group of friends whose families have a long winemaking tradition in Cuyo (the geographic region composed of San Juan, Mendoza and San Luis). Here, they dare to leave their comfort zone and create the most disruptive mountain wines. They promise that, soon, the world will start talking about them. Reservations: https://www.instagram.com/carasur.barreal/
The Torrontés Road | Salta
The province in northern Argentina is the cradle of torrontés, the first native grape variety in the country. It’s the home of the highest vineyards in the world: they grow in the Calchaquí Valleys, an oasis situated up to 3100 meters above sea level.
On this segment of Route 40, the country’s longest and most spectacular road that runs parallel to the mountain range, wineries with five-star hotels in Cafayate coexist with a multi-colored landscape and ancient towns (Cachi, San Carlos, Seclantás) with the best local food and handicrafts.
More info: turismosalta.gov.ar and visitcafayate.travel
- Colomé | It’s the oldest running winery in Argentina, founded in 1831 and nestled in the Calchaquí Valleys, close to the town of Cafayate. The main farmhouse became a boutique hotel with nine exclusive suites, plus a restaurant with a 100% farm-to-table menu created by Patricia Courtois, the first Argentine chef who won the Prix de Baron B — Édition Cuisine. A bonus track: the stunning James Turrell Museum is located there. There are nine light rooms in a space built at 2300 meters above sea level with the world’s biggest collection of pieces by the US artist. Reservations: bodegacolome.com
- El Porvenir | It’s also located in the winemaking oasis of Cafayate. An ecosystem of five farms with vineyards growing torrontés but also one of the finest cabernet sauvignon in Argentina. They offer picnics in the vineyards and empanada-making classes with Doña Carmen, a cook who is a legend in the province. Reservations: elporvenirdecafayate.com
- El Esteco | “Far from everything, close to the sky” — that’s how the largest winery in Salta describes itself. Located in a remote town 1700 meters above sea level, its Patios de Cafayate inn has 32 luxury suites with a view of the vineyards, mountains, and gardens in an early 17th-century property. It has one of the finest restaurants in northern Argentina. Tourists may join a horseback tour of the highest vineyards that ends with a wine tasting. Reservations: elesteco.com.ar