When talking with any seasoned member of the wine community, the ‘old world’ is immediately where people go when talking about the best wine in the world. And for good reason. The wine regions of France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Germany, and pretty much anywhere else in Europe not only have the best wine minds in the world, but the oldest, most established vineyards as well.
However, the last century has seen many wine regions throughout the world making a push for the crown the old world has held since wine became a thing. Specifically, Latin America is home to some of the most productive, delicious, and refined wineries on the planet.
These 7 regions are the best in Latin America for growing grapes and making wine. When you plan your next trip around wine tourism, don’t forget to consider these areas, which are rich in food, culture, and, of course, wine.
1 | Mendoza, Argentina
You can’t talk about wine in South America without starting with Argentina. Argentinian wine has put Latin America on the map in terms of wine production, and the region of Mendoza is one of the finest feathers in its cap.
Famous for Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Torrontés, Mendoza sits in a valley between two Andean peaks in a high desert that is almost 6000 meters above sea level. Mendoza’s wines are considered among the best in the world.
2 | Maipo Valley, Chile
Another famous region with perfect climatic conditions for grape production is the Maipo Valley in Chile. This region is the height of wine tourism in Latin America, and should be on any wine junkie’s bucket list for places to visit.
The region is most famous for its reds, and is best known for their Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, and Carmenere varietals.
3 | Cachapoal Valley, Chile
If the Maipo Valley is famous for reds, the Cachapoal Valley contains the other side of the coin. You’ll find white wine here, and some of the best in the world. Both regions are within a stone’s throw of Santiago, and are good for both day trips or weekends.
You’ll find an abundance of Chardonnay in the Cachapoal Valley.
4 | Montevideo, Uruguay
While Montevideo is the bustling capital of this Latin American country, it’s only miles from some of the best wineries in South America (and a great jumping-off point for any wine tours). The country has even established its own wine trail (Ruta del Vino) just outside the city in the Canelones region.
In the Canelones region, you’ll find Tannat, Cab Sauv, and Merlot, as well as a number of rare red blends.
5 | Parras Valley, Mexico
Mexico has only recently thrown its hat into the wine making business, but is already seeing fruitful results. Especially in the Parras Valley region, which is just west of Monterey in Central Mexico. It’s a small region, but already attracting attention for the delicate grapes it produces.
Chardonnay is the primary crop, but you’ll also find Cab Sauv, Shiraz, and Tempranillo grown here.
6 | Campanha, Brazil
Brazil is right behind Argentina and Chile in terms of acreage beneath vines. It’s Campanha region is perhaps its most revered, offering spectacular countryside and a wide variety of wineries and varietals to try.
Campanha’s primary wine crops are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Tannat, and Cab Franc.
7 | Catamarca, Argentina
Since we started with Argentina, we might as well end with it, too. Catamarca stands even higher in the Andes Mountains than the more popular Mendoza region. However, the region is quickly growing in terms of production and prestige, offering varietals the other, lower elevation regions can’t properly grow.
In Catamarca you’ll find almost exclusively Syrah and Malbec.