San Juan

San Juan

30°13’ S


69°25’ W




about this subregion

Nestled within the expansive Cuyo region of Argentina, key for Argentina´s wine industry, the San Juan wine subregion stands out for its remarkable viticultural landscape. Despite facing challenging environmental conditions, including a dry continental climate and minimal rainfall, San Juan has emerged as a prominent player in the country's wine industry. This success can be attributed to the resourcefulness of local farmers and the implementation of advanced irrigation systems, which have effectively transformed the seemingly inhospitable terrain into fertile vineyards.

The Tulum Valley, located north of the San Juan river, serves as the heart of the region's viticultural activity. Here, vineyards stretch across the arid landscape, benefiting from the dramatic diurnal temperature shifts that characterize the area. Scorching daytime temperatures, often reaching upwards of 40°C (104°F), give way to cool nights, creating optimal conditions for grape ripening and flavor development.

In addition to the Tulum Valley, the Pedernal Valley stands out as a notable wine-producing area within San Juan. Characterized by its unique Pedernal soil, comprised of flint-stone, and varying vineyard exposures, this valley yields wines of exceptional complexity and minerality. It is in these high-altitude vineyards, reaching heights of up to 1400m (4,600 ft), where grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Malbec, Chardonnay, and Torrontés thrive, each expressing its unique characteristics influenced by the region's diverse microclimates.

San Juan's viticultural landscape is a testament to the resilience and efforts of its winemakers, who have harnessed the natural elements to produce wines that embody the spirit of the land.


vinerra illustration

Vineyard Hectares



2,800 - 3,000


Discover Terroir

Nestled amidst the scenic beauty of the Cuyo region, San Juan's wine sub-region, located southeast of La Rioja and north of Mendoza, has undoubtedly had a standout year, as evidenced by the findings of the 2021 Annual Harvest Report. This report serves as a testament to the remarkable achievements and resilience of the local winemaking community. The viticulture of the region is most concentrated in the valleys spread across the center-west of the province.

According to the report, the grape harvest in San Juan reached an impressive 489,355 tons—an abundance that speaks volumes about the dedication and expertise of the region's farmers and vintners. From the rolling hills to the sun-kissed valleys, each grapevine stands as a testament to the meticulous care and attention lavished upon the land.

Of the total harvest, a staggering 483,311 tons of grapes were processed within the confines of San Juan itself, demonstrating the region's capacity for vinification and the production of high-quality wines. From bold reds to crisp whites, the diversity of offerings reflects the rich tapestry of terroir and varietals that define San Juan's winemaking landscape.

Moreover, the report sheds light on an intriguing aspect of interregional collaboration, as a portion of the harvest—6,044 tons of grapes—made its way to Mendoza, contributing to the winemaking endeavors of producers in this renowned viticultural hub. This exchange not only underscores the versatility and quality of San Juan's grapes but also highlights the spirit of cooperation that permeates the Argentine wine industry.

As the sun sets over the vineyards, casting a golden hue across the landscape, one cannot help but marvel at the resilience and vibrancy of San Juan's winemaking community. Each bottle of wine serves as a testament to their dedication to the craft and their unwavering commitment to producing wines of exceptional quality.

In the heart of Argentina's wine country, San Juan stands as a beacon of excellence—a place where tradition and innovation converge to create wines that captivate the senses and delight the palate. As we raise a glass to toast their success, let us celebrate the spirit of collaboration and craftsmanship that defines this remarkable region.

The San Juan wine subregion boasts an arid climate, that is a vital component for the cultivation of grapes in this area. Situated within the larger Cuyo region, which includes Mendoza and La Rioja, San Juan's landscape has been historically dubbed 'the land of deserts' by the Huarpe Indians—a fitting moniker given its arid and barren terrain. With an average annual rainfall of merely four inches and the sun shining relentlessly for up to 330 days each year, the environment may initially appear inhospitable to grape cultivation.

However, the efforts of the region's farmers has turned this seemingly challenging landscape into a thriving vineyard haven through the implementation of sophisticated irrigation systems. These systems tap into underground springs and rivers, effectively distributing water throughout the vineyards and fostering agricultural abundance even in the face of harsh climatic conditions. The majority of vineyards are concentrated in the Tulum Valley, situated north of the San Juan river, where temperatures can soar to a scorching 42°C (107°F) during mid-summer, only to plummet to around 16°C (60°F) come nightfall. This dramatic diurnal temperature shift proves instrumental in the cultivation of grapes, promoting the development of fruit with optimal sugar and acidity levels.

While most vineyards in San Juan are nestled at altitudes around 650m (2,100 ft), the region is renowned for its high-altitude vineyards, particularly those in the Pedernal Valley. Characterized by its Pedernal soil—a unique blend of flint-stone—and varying vineyard exposures, this valley yields wines of exceptional complexity and a distinctive minerality. These high-altitude vineyards, some reaching heights of up to 1400m (4,600 ft), benefit from cooler temperatures that help preserve the grapes' acidity and freshness, resulting in the production of elegant wines that have garnered acclaim on the international stage.

San Juan's exceptional climate, coupled with innovative irrigation techniques and the cultivation of vineyards at varying elevations, has firmly established the region as a key player in Argentina's esteemed wine industry. Rather than hindering growth, the region's challenging environmental conditions have been transformed into an advantage, allowing for the creation of wines that are as resilient and distinctive as the terroir from which they originate.

The San Juan wine subregion, a pivotal area within Argentina's renowned Cuyo region, is distinguished not only by its climatic conditions but also by the diversity of its soils. These soils play a crucial role in the viticulture of the area, contributing to the distinctive characteristics of the wines produced here. The most common types of soil found in this subregion are alluvial soils, sandy soils, and stony soils. Each soil type offers unique benefits and challenges for grape growing, influencing water retention, root penetration, and ultimately, the taste profile of the wine.

  1. Alluvial Soils: Predominantly found in the foothills and valleys of the Andes Mountains, alluvial soils are formed by the deposition of sediment from flowing water. These soils are typically a mix of sand, silt, clay, and gravel, creating a well-drained environment that encourages deep root growth and efficient water use. The variability in particle size and composition within alluvial soils allows for a wide range of grape varieties to be cultivated, each adapting to its microenvironment within the vineyard.
  2. Sandy Soils: Characterized by their large particle size and loose structure, sandy soils are renowned for their excellent drainage properties. These soils heat up quickly and retain warmth well, promoting early bud break and extending the growing season. Vines planted in sandy soils often have to work harder to access water and nutrients, leading to the development of more robust root systems. This stress on the vines can result in grapes with concentrated flavors, contributing to the production of high-quality wines with distinct aromatic profiles.
  3. Stony Soils: Stony or rocky soils contain a high proportion of larger rocks and pebbles, which can significantly influence the microclimate around the vine roots. The stones help retain heat during the day and release it slowly during the cooler nights, aiding in the even ripening of grapes. These soils also ensure good drainage, reducing the risk of root diseases and promoting healthy vine growth. The thermal regulation provided by stony soils is particularly beneficial in the hot, arid climate of San Juan, helping to maintain acidity and balance in the grapes.

The soil composition of the San Juan wine subregion is integral to the area's viticultural success, with each soil type contributing to the unique expression of the wines produced. Alluvial, sandy, and stony soils each offer distinct advantages that, when expertly managed, can lead to the cultivation of grapes capable of producing wines of exceptional quality and character.


The San Juan wine subregion, part of the larger Cuyo wine region in Argentina, is renowned for its vibrant wine production, shaped by the unique terroir and climatic conditions of the area. Nestled in a region that combines the dry, desert-like climate with high altitudes near the Andes Mountains, San Juan has adapted to grow a variety of grapes that thrive under these specific conditions. The most common grapes cultivated here include Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Syrah, Chardonnay, and Torrontés. Each grape variety has distinct agricultural and climatic requirements, contributing to the diversity and richness of San Juan's wine offerings.

  1. Cabernet Sauvignon: The Cabernet Sauvignon grape is known for its adaptability to various climates, thriving particularly well in San Juan's warm and dry conditions. Cabernet Sauvignon benefits from the significant diurnal temperature variation in the region, which promotes a balance between sugar accumulation and acidity retention. In addition, Cabernet Sauvignon requires well-drained soils, found in the foothills of the Andes, allowing for deep root systems to develop, enhancing the vines' resistance to the arid climate.
  2. Malbec: Malbec has found a special home in Argentina, particularly in San Juan, where it produces distinctively bold wines. The grape favors the high-altitude vineyards of the region, where cooler temperatures at night help to preserve its acidity and slow down the ripening process. Malbec vines demand intense sunlight for optimal berry development, a condition readily provided by the clear skies of the San Juan subregion. The alluvial soils in these areas, rich in minerals and with good drainage, are ideal for cultivating Malbec.
  3. Syrah: Syrah flourishes in San Juan's hot, sunny climate, which is essential for its growth and sugar development. The grape's thick skin helps protect it from the intense sunlight, while the cooler temperatures at higher altitudes ensure a longer growing season. Syrah requires moderate water, which is carefully managed through irrigation techniques in San Juan, utilizing meltwater from the Andes. This varietal prefers sandy loam soils that warm quickly, promoting early bud break and extending the growing season.
  4. Chardonnay: Chardonnay in San Juan adapts well to the varied microclimates across the region, from cooler, higher-altitude vineyards to the warmer valley floors. The key to growing Chardonnay here is finding the right balance between sunlight exposure and temperature to avoid overripening. Chardonnay benefits from the cool nights in San Juan, which help maintain acidity levels. The grape is versatile regarding soil but thrives in limestone-based soils that provide good drainage and reflect sunlight, enhancing photosynthesis.
  5. Torrontés: Unique to Argentina, Torrontés has become synonymous with aromatic white wines from the region. In San Juan, it prospers under the high elevation and the intense sunlight, which contribute to its aromatic intensity. Torrontés vines require dry conditions, with well-drained soils to prevent root diseases and to stress the vine slightly, concentrating the flavors. The grape is particularly sensitive to its growing environment, with the cool mountain air playing a crucial role in preserving its fresh, floral aromatics.

These grape varieties, each with their specific requirements for sunlight, temperature, soil type, and water management, showcase the adaptability and diversity of viticulture in the San Juan wine subregion. The combination of natural geographic advantages and skilled cultivation practices in San Juan has led to the production of wines that are not only reflective of their terroir but also highly regarded on the international stage.

The San Juan wine subregion, nestled within the broader Cuyo region of Argentina, is celebrated for its diverse and exquisite wines. This area has transcended its history of producing bulk wines to emerge as a significant player in Argentina's premium wine market. With a shift towards high-quality grape cultivation and state-of-the-art winemaking technologies, San Juan now boasts wines that have garnered international acclaim. The region's signature wines, influenced by its unique terroir and climate, span from rbold reds to refreshing whites, each offering distinct aromatic and flavor profiles that reflect the essence of their origin.

  1. Syrah: San Juan's flagship red wine, Syrah, stands out for its dense black fruit aromas complemented by peppery spice. Notes of liquorice and leather add complexity to its profile, drawing parallels with the full-bodied Shiraz varieties of Australia's Barossa Valley rather than the leaner French Syrah from the Rhône​​​​.
  2. Malbec: Malbec from San Juan showcases a fresh approach to this beloved Argentine varietal. With Malbec, you can expect a wide range of red wines, from everyday drinking wines to those that break into the high-end segment with their freshness and complexity. Recent trends indicate a shift towards more easy-drinking, fruity Malbecs aimed at new consumers, reflecting a broader palette of choices​​​​.
  3. Bonarda: Although not as common as Syrah or Malbec, Bonarda is a traditional red wine in San Juan, appreciated for its contribution to the region's diverse wine portfolio. This wine typically exhibits juicy red fruit flavors with a smooth texture and is part of the blend that adds complexity and depth to San Juan's wine offerings​.
  4. Chardonnay: Chardonnay in San Juan takes on a character marked by great aromatic power. The high-altitude vineyards and the region's climatic conditions lend the Chardonnay wines a distinctive freshness, attributed to natural acidity, alongside fruity characters with citrus and white fruit flavors, such as pear​​.
  5. Sauvignon Blanc: The Sauvignon Blanc from San Juan surprises with its exotic expression, showcasing notes of passion fruit and very faint vegetable aromas. This white variety benefits from the region's unique terroir, producing wines with plenty of freshness and a vibrant fruit character that distinguishes it from other wine-producing areas​​.

These wines from the San Juan subregion, combined with others like Cabernet Sauvignon, embody the innovation and diversity of Argentina's wine industry. Through a combination of traditional techniques and modern innovations, San Juan has successfully positioned itself as a producer of both red and white wines that capture the attention of wine enthusiasts worldwide.