Argentinian Wines: Patagonia

At the southern end of both Argentina and the South American continent lies the region of Patagonia, with the wine producing region being between 39 and 42 degrees southern latitude. The first wineries in Patagonia were placed in the region of Neuquén, one of the world’s most remote wine regions at 39 degrees south. Ancient roads of dust and stone cross the arid landscape, with pure air, clear skies, and winds coming off the Andes mountains to the west. Patagonia has many natural conditions and characteristics particularly suited to wine growing. The weather there yields wide ranges of temperatures, which helps both the ripening and maintaining the balancing acidity of the grapes. The types of soil and sub-soils that allow excellent drainage are important here, but the soils are less rocky than Mendoza and thus tend to not hold as much heat as the soils in that area, and thus allowing cooler temperatures at night. Also important are the long hours of sunlight, the scarce rainfall during the growing season, and the low humidity. These factors help maintain very healthy vines, and contribute to Patagonia being chosen for wine production. All of these characteristics of the Patagonia region allow it to express different flavors, aromas, and balance between fruit and acidity than the more northern Argentine wine regions, even though they are using many of the same grape varieties.