Argentina has three distinct wine producing regions: Mendoza, San Juan, and La Rioja. Mendoza is the country’s largest and most productive wine region, and is often compared to Napa Valley in California. Located in the central area of Argentina, Mendoza is one of the nine Great Wine Capitals of the world. Mendoza is one of the best places for wine production in the world due to an altitude of 2,450 ft, over 300 days of sunshine a year, and abundant irrigation channels from the Andes Mountains.
Three of the best Argentine wineries are located in the fertile region of Mendoza: the Bodegas Norton, Bodega Catena Zapata, and Moët Chandon. These three vineyards represent the core of Argentine viticultural development and history.
Founded in 1895 by Edmund James Palmer Norton, Bodegas Norton is the oldest winery and vineyard in Argentina. The Perdriel region is the location of the original vineyard and the current winery, and is a mere 100 hectares (a single square kilometer). At over 3,000 feet above sea level, Bodegas Norton excels in the Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec grape varieties.
Located 40 minutes outside Mendoza in the scenic shadow of the Andes Mountains, there are countless attractions and sights. The tour will take you through the Casa Patronal, the home where the Norton family once lived. You can also taste the entire portfolio of wines in the cellar. If you choose to visit Bodegas Norton on your South American escapade, you’ll certainly be in for a pleasant and tasteful treat!
This winery originated in France in 1743 and immigrated to Argentina in 1959. As Moët & Chandon’s first vineyard outside of France, the new location was determined to be the ideal place to produce wines because of the richness of soil. It was and still is the largest producer of sparkling wines in the world, and the Argentine vineyard is the largest sparkling wines producer in the country. The Valle de Uco is where their top wines are produced and the center of attention for the Chandon.
If you are ever in the Argentine region, put this vineyard tour on your list. The wineries in the Valle de Uco will doubtless be among the most beautiful places you’ve ever been!
This final destination is a must for any South American traveller. The Bodega Catena Zapata is a relic of the Catena family spanning three generations. The vineyard is famous for its Nicolás Catena Zapata selection, named after the current vineyard owner. This wine was introduced in a number of blind tastings throughout London and the U.S., winning first or second at each tasting. It was the first wine to ever receive a 98 point rating by The Wine Advocate.
One of the most beautiful things about this destination is the architecture. The entire winery is modeled after Mayan pyramids, filling tourists with a sense of authenticity and wonder. As one of the first producers of the famous Malbec grape variety, this vineyard is a gem of Argentine viticulture.