Patagonia is the southernmost wine-producing wine region in Argentina. This winemaking region spans over the provinces of Rio Negro, La Pampa, and Neuquen. Patagonia is often overlooked for viticulture as a result of its desert landscapes and cool, dry climates which do not seem suitable for the cultivation of vines. Despite this, over time the region has become internationally acclaimed for the production of elegant red wines made from Pinot Noir and Malbec grapes. The Patagonia wine region is fast becoming one of the most well-recognized wine regions in Argentina thanks to its excellent and high-quality wines and interesting landscapes. This unique and interesting winemaking region is the perfect place to explore the best of Argentinean wines.
The Patagonia winemaking region of Argentina is located closer to the Andes Mountains than it is to the Atlantic Ocean, and at a far lower altitude than other wine regions of Argentina. This unique location gives the region a cool and dry climate that is perfect for the production of red wines made from Pinot Noir and Malbec grape varietals. Patagonia is predominantly a desert region and as a result of this, viticulture is possible only in areas near rivers running from the Andes Mountains that provide irrigation to the vines. The desert climate provides cold nights and warm days that make for a long growing season during which grapes are slowly ripened. This slow ripening process allows the grapes to develop a rich character and the perfect levels of acidity.
The climate of the Patagonia region can be described as warm, continental, and semi-arid. The region receives less than 200 mm of annual rainfall. During the ripening months, the region experiences a dramatic temperature range.
The Patagonian soils that are most suitable for viticulture are found in the northern parts of the region, near the Negro River, where they are formed with volcanic rock. Moving towards the south of the region the soils become arider and stonier with broad expanses of rounded pebbles. This terroir is known as the grave Patagonia and is most often found where the ground is relatively level.
Rio Nego and Neuquen
The two most well-known areas of viticulture in Patagonia are Rio Negro and Neuquen. The wines produced in these two regions are traditionally European in character. Neuquen is located in the foothills of the Andes Mountains, while Rio Negro is located higher up on the mountain slopes.
Red: Pinot Noir, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc
There are a number of factors which mean that the wines produced in Patagonia are some of the most complex, characterful and excellent Argentinian wines. These factors include the climate, temperature range, strong winds and long periods of sunshine during the ripening season.
The red wines of the Patagonia wine region are complex with intense colors and excellent typicity. Wine lovers are giving increased attention to the La Pampa area of Patagonia where excellent Cabernet Franc wines are produced. These wines have added to the catalog of diverse wines produced in Patagonia and have hints of red fruit, elegant tannins, and tasting notes of pepper. The Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon red wines of Patagonia are grown at higher altitudes in the region where the soils are stony and irrigation levels are higher. This allows for the production of fruitier wines with intense colors and refined tannins. Patagonian Merlot wines are described as smooth and balanced with intense aromas. The Malbec of the region has an intense ruby color with aromas of black cherries, lavender, biscuits, and spices. The palate of the wine is dry with refreshing acidity, medium body, balanced flavors, and ripe tannins.
The white wines have a good structure, perfect complexity, natural levels of acidity, and aromas that highlight the mineral notes of the wine. The most popular Patagonian white wines are made from Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Riesling grape varietals. These grapes allow the wine to showcase the freshness of the climate of the Patagonia region. The Sauvignon Blanc wines of the region are of excellent and high quality while the Chardonnay is a fruity aroma with a good and harmonic body.
Patagonian Pinot Noir grapes are used to produce excellent sparkling wines known for their outstanding elegance.
Puerto Madryn – The City on the Shores of Gulfo Neuvo
Puerto Madryn is a picturesque city located on the shores of the beautiful Neuvo Gulf – a large deep-water bay on the Atlantic Ocean. This city is a popular holiday destination during the summer months because of its expanse of endless beaches. Despite the beauty of the beaches, the water is freezing cold and the wind can be extremely strong. Some of the most popular attractions in Puetro Madryn are the Punto Loma sea lion reserve, the Punta Tombo National Park, the Punta Tombo penguin colony and the Puerto Madryn EcoCentro.
Ushuaia – The Adventure Hub of Patagonia
The port of Ushuaia is located at the foot of the Martial Mountain Range and is considered by many to be the adventure capital of the Patagonia region. Ushuaia is where the Andes Mountains meet the Beagle Channel at the southernmost point of the Tierra del Fuego Island. The unique location of this port allows visitors to enjoy all the wonders of the sea, mountains and forests all in one location. For nature lovers, Ushuaia is the perfect escape from the city and an excellent introduction to the natural beauty of Argentina.
El Calafate – The Gateway to the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares
El Calafate is a small town in Patagonia that is mainly frequented by tourists visiting the nearby Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, which is Argentina’s Glacier National Park. Although the town of El Calafate is itself very small, there are a number of attractions within the town and locals offering expeditions and tours to the National Park. The most popular activities to take part in when visiting El Calafate are visiting the Perito Moreno Glacier in the Glacier National Park, hiking the glaciers, exploring the village of El Chalten and experiencing the La Leona Petrified Forest.
The world’s Most Breathtaking Glacier
The Perito Moreno Glacier is an incredible mass of ice that spans over 121 square miles, and which continues to grow. For visitors to Patagonia, this glacier is an absolute must-see as it towers above the Los Glaciares National Park shining with bright white and blue shades.
The Perito Moreno Glacier is 19 miles long and rises to 240 ft above the water. It forms part of an ice field that stretches across Argentina and Chile. This magnificent glacier was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1981.
The Enthralling Natural Beauty of Patagonia
Patagonia is widely considered to be one of the most remote and spectacularly beautiful regions across the world. This breathtakingly beautiful region encompasses the best of southern Argentina and Chile. The environment is defined by extremes from glaciers to deserts. Visit Patagonia and fall in love with this natural wonder of the world.
Torres del Paine National Park
Lose yourself in the magical nature of the Torres del Paine National Park
The Torres del Paine National Park is one of nature’s most wonderful miracle. The landscape of the Torres del Paine National Park is characterized by bright blue and turquoise waters, glaciers, and towering granite peaks. So magnificent are these features that the Torres del Paine National Park is considered the eighth wonder of the world. The best way to explore this national park is by trekking through the landscape with nothing more than a backpack and comfortable shoes. During the summer months the national park experiences up to 17 hours of sunlight per day, allowing for plenty of time to enjoy the scenery. While walking through the park there is also a great chance of spotting indigenous wildlife such as foxes, Andean deer, and even the reclusive Puma.
Parque Nacional Los Glaciares
The Parque Nacional Los Glaciares is located in the part of Patagonia known as the Austral Andes, in the south west of Argentina. The natural beauty of this area has resulted in it being listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1981. Visiting the park allows one access to the incredible mountains, lakes and woods of the area. Inside the park lies a large portion of the Andes Mountain Range that is almost permanently under ice. The name of the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares comes from the many glaciers in the park that form part of the Ice Caps – the largest continental body of ice after Antarctica. Visitors to the park are free to enjoy the incredible natural landscape and to view the natural flora and fauna.
General Carrera Lake
The most picturesque body of water in Patagonia
The General Carrera Lake is by far the most beautiful body of water in all of Patagonia. This lake is so large that is spans across both Argentina and Chile. On the Argentinian side, the lake is also often referred to as Lake Buenos Aires. The total surface area of the General Carrera Lake is 1 850 square kilometers, making it the fourth-largest lake in Argentina. At its deepest point, it plunges to 586 meters deep. The General Carrera Lake provides a range of activities for visitors including fishing, kayaking, and hiking. For those looking to take a longer trip to the lake, there are a number of various accommodation facilities available from camping to five-star rooms.
Patagonian Local Cuisine
Besides the natural beauty of the region, the local cuisine of Patagonia is by far one of its greatest highlights. The local cuisine of Patagonia has local nuances and is an incredible blend of local and international flavors. The local dishes are not only mouthwatering but are also wholesome and heartwarming – the perfect feast in the perfect environment.
Asado – The National Dish of Argentina
Asado is considered by many to be the national dish of Argentina and is also referred to as Parrillada. The origins of Asado stretch back to the gauchos or cowboys of the Patagonian region. This dish is a barbecue that usually consists of beef, sausages, pork ribs, and sweetbreads that are served hot off the fire. In some parts of Patagonia, the Asado is a whole lamb or pig that is roasted over an open fire. Asado is the perfect local dish to enjoy which relaxing in the beautiful great Patagonian outdoors on a long summer night.
Cordero al Palo – Patagonia’s Most Famous Dish
By far the most famous dish of the Patagonian region is Cordero al Palo. Cordero al Palo is a spit roast lamb that is cooked over an open fire for many hours until the outside if deliciously crisp and the meat is soft enough to fall off the bone. The way in which the meat is cooked over an open flame, gives the meat a smokey flavour. This dish is a must try for any meat lover who is fortunate enough to spend time in the Patagonian region.
Chupe de Centolla – Patagonian King Crab Pie
If you are looking to take a break from the delicious meats of Patagonia, then Chupe de Centolla is the perfect dish to try. Chupe de Centolla is a pie made of Patagonian king crab. The crab is cooked in a delicious seafood stew with breadcrumbs similar to a chowder. This stew is then covered with gratinated cheese and baked until warm and bubbly.