Although Mendoza is essentially a desert dependent upon irrigation, its topography offers countless landscapes and mesoclimates that provide particular characteristics to each wine. The vineyards are planted at higher altitudes, beginning at 600 meters above sea level and climb to 1,500 meters and more. The climate is extremely dry and sunny, although frosts and hail often cause major losses.
The soils are rocky, sandy, and to a lesser degree loam to clay-loam with considerable coarse material. Unlike Argentina’s other zones, here the predominant trellising system is the high vertical shoot position.
As the country’s primary wine producing zone (70% of the wine produced in Argentina comes from it), Mendoza has nearly every variety planted, beginning with malbec, its greatest star. Other high-quality wines produced in Mendoza include cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah, bonarda, tempranillo and pinot noir. Among the white varieties, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc stand out, although each finds better expression in other sub-regions that merit seeking out.
Source: Patricio Tapia, in Descorchados 2019.