Travel insights from Taylor Coulson, contributing editor of The Compass

A Wine Lover’s Guide to Argentina

Sure, you can travel to Argentina for tango and terrain unlike anywhere else, but Argentina’s micro-climate creates a unique wine country you should definitely explore. Plus, some of the highest wineries in the world are there. Argentina is the fifth-largest wine-producing country in the New World and grows grapes beyond the iconic malbec that put Mendoza’s region on the map in the world of wine. Visit these five Argentine wineries in five different regions to see and taste for yourself.

1. Bodega Tierras Altas in Mendoza

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Mendoza is in the heart of Argentina’s wine country and produces around 80% of Argentine wine. The foothills of the Andes Mountains make a beautiful backdrop to the Bodega Tierras Altas boutique winery near Mendoza City. On the Malbec Experience two-hour tour, you’ll stroll through leafy vineyards, an underground cellar and learn the magic secrets behind making malbec. You’ll even go wine tasting straight from the steel tanks and oak barrels.

2. Finca Don Diego in Catamarca

Catamarca is a small but up-and-coming wine region amidst the Andes Mountains in northwestern Argentina. Finca Don Diego is an organic winery in the Fiambala Valley that sits nearly 5,000 feet above sea level. This low latitude and high altitude area is ideal for growing torrontes, syrah and malbec grapes. An underground cellar made of stone and adobe and thick walls with roofs made of cane and volcanic sand provide a pollution-free environment with room for over 150,000 bottles and 100 barrels.

3. Bodega Colome in Salta

Salta is hot and high in northwestern Argentina too, filled with extreme altitudes, sunlight and beauty. Bodega Colome is one of the oldest and highest wineries in Argentina, dating back to 1831. Torrontes and malbec are this area’s top grape performers. Altura Maxima is their highest vineyard that plants malbec at 10,200 feet above sea level. It’s a Spanish-style villa, surrounded by mountains in the Calchaqui Valley with a boutique hotel and famous James Turrell Museum on-site.

4. Bodega Familia Schroeder in Patagonia

Patagonia is the southernmost wine-making region in Argentina and South America overall. Its emerging viticulture zone stretches 200 miles along the Neuquen and Rio Negro rivers, since the rest of the region is mostly dry deserts. Bodega Familia Schroeder is a winery with heavy German influence on sweet, sparkly rieslings and elegant pinot noir grapes. It has dinosaur wines and themes too, since fossils were found nearby during the winery’s construction. You can explore the vineyard on a guided tour, indulge at the dinosaur’s cellar and restaurant and even harvest and prune your own grapes!

5. Finca Sierras Azules in San Juan

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San Juan is in between Mendoza and La Rioja regions in the northwestern corner of Argentina. Finca Sierras Azules is a boutique winery in Zonda Valley. The valley is named after the Zonda wind that’s common around this region and vineyards in Australia, Germany and western U.S. also experience. Full-bodied syrah and malbec grow here in the warm and windy lower Andes Mountains. You can pair your wine and cheese at tasting events in the winery garden or arrange a private group tasting. Plus there is an event hall for weddings, corporate events and meetings.

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