Río Negro

Río Negro

37° 52’ S


67°47’ W




about this subregion

The Río Negro wine subregion, nestled within the Argentina wine country of South America, boasts a unique environment characterized by its cool climate and diverse terroir. Situated in southern Argentina along the Río Negro river, this subregion benefits from its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, which moderates temperatures and provides cooling breezes. The region's desert-like conditions, with low rainfall and abundant sunshine, contribute to the development of concentrated flavors in its grapes.

Río Negro is renowned for its production of several grape varieties, including Malbec, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and Semillón. These grapes thrive in the subregion's climate, producing wines with distinct characteristics reflective of their terroir. Malbec, known for its boldness and depth, finds an elegant expression in Río Negro's cool climate. Merlot flourishes, offering velvety textures and rich flavors. Pinot Noir, cherished for its complexity, reveals layers of nuanced aromas in the region's terroir. Sauvignon Blanc showcases crisp acidity and vibrant fruit flavors, while Semillón contributes to blends with its lush texture and aromatic profile. Río Negro's dynamic environment and dedication to quality winemaking make it a compelling destination for wine enthusiasts seeking distinctive expressions of these renowned grape varieties.


vinerra illustration

Vineyard Hectares



1,400 - 1,600


Discover Terroir

The Río Negro sub-region, nestled within the expansive Patagonia and Atlantic Region of Argentina, occupies a significant position in the country's diverse viticultural landscape. Its strategic location is defined by its borders with La Pampa to the north, Buenos Aires to the east, Neuquén to the west, and Chubut to the south, encapsulating a vast territory ripe for grape cultivation. In this wine region, the best vineyards are located in High Valley, one of the three valleys formed by the Colorado River.

This region's contribution to Argentina's wine production is substantial and continues to grow, underscoring its importance within the nation's winemaking industry. The 2021 Annual Harvest Report shed light on Río Negro's remarkable performance, with a total grape yield of 4529.8 tons. Of this impressive harvest, the majority—4137.7 tons—was allocated to local winemaking endeavors, highlighting the sub-region's dedication to producing wines of exceptional quality for its domestic market. This commitment to local production is not only a testament to Río Negro's winemaking prowess but also ensures a steady supply of fine wines to satisfy the palates of Argentine wine enthusiasts.

Moreover, Río Negro plays a pivotal role in supplying grapes to other renowned wine-producing regions across Argentina. A significant portion of its harvest, totaling 311.3 tons, was dispatched to Mendoza, a province widely celebrated for its wine culture and industry. Additionally, 80.8 tons of grapes made their way to Neuquén, further cementing Río Negro's importance in contributing to the broader national wine scene through interregional trade.

In addition to its remarkable production figures, the Río Negro sub-region also offers a captivating environment for wine enthusiasts to explore. The landscape is dotted with vineyards nestled against a backdrop of stunning natural beauty, including the meandering Río Negro river, the majestic Andes mountains and the numerous fruit trees, which are key for Río Negro´s economy. The region's cool climate, influenced by its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, creates optimal conditions for grape cultivation, allowing for the development of complex flavors and aromas in the wines produced here. Visitors to Río Negro can immerse themselves in the winemaking process through guided tours of vineyards and wineries, where they can learn about the unique terroir and production techniques that contribute to the distinctive character of the region's wines.

Overall, Río Negro's dynamic environment and dedication to quality winemaking make it a compelling destination for wine enthusiasts seeking distinctive expressions of these renowned grape varieties. Whether exploring the scenic vineyards, sampling wines at local wineries, or simply soaking in the natural beauty of the region, visitors to Rio Negro are sure to be captivated by all that this vibrant wine sub-region has to offer.

The Rio Negro wine subregion, nestled within the broader Patagonia and Atlantic Region of Argentina, is renowned for its diverse climate, which shapes the unique terroir of the area. This subregion encompasses a wide range of climate types, each contributing to the complexity and character of the wines produced here.

One prevalent climate type in Río Negro is the cold semi-arid climate (BSk), which is predominant in locations such as Las Grutas and Viedma. This climate is characterized by limited rainfall throughout the year thanks to the rain shadow efect provided by the Andes mountains, with mean annual temperatures averaging around 15.9 °C (60.6 °F). Annual precipitation in these areas typically amounts to approximately 295 mm (11.6 inches). The scarcity of rainfall coupled with the relatively moderate temperatures and the altitude of vineyards over sea level creates an environment conducive to grape cultivation, with vines benefiting from the ample sunlight and dry conditions.

Another climate variant found within Río Negro is the cold desert climate (BWk), with mild to hot summers and cold winters, which is prominent in areas like General Roca and Cipolletti. Although similar in temperature to the semi-arid climate, with average yearly temperatures around 15.1 °C (59.1 °F), these regions experience slightly higher levels of annual precipitation, averaging about 380 mm (15.0 inches). Despite the modest increase in rainfall, the overall arid conditions prevail, contributing to the unique characteristics of the wines produced in these areas.

Additionally, pockets of a warm-summer Mediterranean climate (Csb) can be found in regions like El Bolsón and San Carlos de Bariloche within the Rio Negro subregion. This climate variation, characterized by mild winters and warm, dry summers, further enriches the diversity of terroirs within the area. The combination of warm summers and cool evenings creates ideal conditions for grape ripening, resulting in wines with distinctive flavors and aromas.

The geographical features of Río Negro, including its southern latitude of 38° and its equidistant positioning between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, play a crucial role in shaping its climate. Situated in a dry, continental desert climate zone with cool to temperate conditions, Río Negro benefits from significant temperature shifts between day and night during the grape ripening period. These diurnal variations, coupled with the constant western winds and ample sunlight, contribute to the development of grapes with optimal sugar levels, acidity, and phenolic ripeness.

Overall, the intricate interplay of climate, geography, and topography in the Río Negro wine subregion creates a diverse tapestry of terroirs, each contributing to the distinctive character of the wines produced here. From the elegant Malbecs to the crisp Sauvignon Blancs, the wines of Río Negro reflect the rich tapestry of environmental influences that define this unique winemaking region.

The Neuquén wine subregion stands out due to its distinctive soil composition, which plays a crucial role in shaping the character and quality of its wines. This region's unique terroir, marked by a combination of geological features and climatic conditions, contributes significantly to the distinctiveness of its viticultural output. The soils here, varied and rich, provide a foundation that influences everything from grape quality to the nuanced flavors of the wines. Below, we delve into the specifics of the most prevalent soil types found in Neuquén, highlighting their characteristics and their impact on viticulture.

  1. Alluvial Deposits: At the heart of Neuquén's viticultural success are its alluvial soils, formed through centuries of water flow that have deposited a rich blend of minerals and organic matter. These deposits are typically layered, reflecting different periods of sedimentation, which contributes to their complexity. The alluvial soils in Neuquén are highly prized for their ability to drain excess water efficiently while retaining adequate moisture. This balance ensures that vines are neither waterlogged nor parched, promoting healthy growth and facilitating the development of concentrated, flavorful grapes. The fertility of these soils supports a diverse array of grape varieties, each benefiting from the rich mineral content that lends a notable vibrancy and depth to the resulting wines.
  2. Sandy Loam Textures: Another significant soil type within the Neuquén wine subregion is sandy loam, a soil that strikes an ideal balance between drainage and nutrient retention. The sandy aspect of this soil ensures that water drains freely, preventing root rot and other moisture-related issues. At the same time, the loam components—composed of silt and clay—retain enough water and nutrients to sustain the vines, especially during the critical periods of grape maturation. This soil type is particularly adept at fostering the development of root systems that can delve deep into the earth, tapping into the subterranean moisture and nutrients that are out of reach for shallower roots. Vines grown in sandy loam soils often produce grapes that are robust in flavor, with an intensity and complexity that are directly influenced by the soil's unique properties.

The synergistic effect of these soil types, combined with Neuquén's semi-desert climate and the notable diurnal temperature variations, creates an exceptionally conducive environment for viticulture. The region's well-drained, nutrient-rich soils, when married with its distinctive climatic conditions, foster the growth of grapes that are not only of high quality but also imbued with the unique characteristics of their terroir. This results in wines that are celebrated for their elegance, minerality, and the ability to express the essence of their origin. Through the meticulous interplay of soil composition and climate, the Neuquén wine subregion has carved out a niche for itself as a producer of outstanding wines, each a testament to the unique terroir from which it springs.


The Río Negro subregion of the Patagonia and Atlantic wine region represents one of Argentina's most distinctive viticultural areas, famed for its unique climate and geographical conditions that favor the cultivation of a diverse array of grape varieties. Nestled within the broader Patagonian expanse, this subregion benefits from a cooler climate and the moderating influence of the Atlantic Ocean, setting the stage for the production of wines with remarkable character. Among the grape varieties that thrive here, Malbec, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and Semillón stand out for their adaptability and the quality of wine they produce. The following paragraphs delve into the agricultural and climatic requirements of each of these grape varieties in the context of the Río Negro's terroir.

  1. Malbec: Malbec is a grape that has found a particularly congenial home in the Río Negro valley. It requires a climate that offers a balance between warm days and cool nights, a condition that is readily provided by this subregion. The thermal amplitude helps in achieving a slow and balanced maturation, crucial for developing the complexity for which Malbec is known. The well-drained, sandy to loamy soils of the region contribute to the health of the vines, reducing the risk of root diseases and promoting moderate water stress, which is beneficial for concentrating flavors in the grapes.
  2. Cabernet Sauvignon: Cabernet Sauvignon is another grape that thrives in the unique terroir of Río Negro, benefiting from the region's ability to offer a balance between warm sunny days and cooler nights. This varietal requires a longer growing season to fully develop its complex flavors and tannin structure, a condition that is well met in this subregion of Patagonia. The grape's thick skin contributes to its resilience and ability to concentrate flavors during the ripening process. In Río Negro, this grape finds an ideal setting in the well-drained soils, which help to regulate water availability and promote healthy vine stress, leading to the production of grapes that are rich in flavor and suitable for wines with significant aging potential. The climatic conditions of Río Negro ensure that Cabernet Sauvignon can achieve a balance of ripeness and acidity, resulting in wines that are structured, with a depth of flavor that includes red fruit, and a backbone of tannins that lend well to aging.
  3. Merlot: Merlot adapts well to the slightly cooler climates found in the Río Negro subregion, with its preference for early budding and ripening being well accommodated by the extended growing season provided by the region's climate. This variety benefits from the cooler temperatures that help preserve acidity and develop phenolic maturity without excessive sugar levels, leading to well-balanced wines. The fertile, alluvial soils of the valley, rich in minerals, support the vigorous growth of Merlot vines, allowing for the development of grapes with good structure and complexity.
  4. Pinot Noir: Pinot Noir, with its preference for cooler growing conditions, finds an ideal environment in the Río Negro. The grape's thin skin and susceptibility to climate variations make it a challenging variety to cultivate, but the consistent temperatures and sheltered valleys of the region mitigate these difficulties. The cool climate allows for a prolonged ripening period, essential for the development of the delicate structure and complexity Pinot Noir is celebrated for. The well-drained soils of the area, often sandy and with a good presence of organic material, further facilitate the cultivation of this variety by promoting healthy root development and optimal water retention.
  5. Sauvignon Blanc: Sauvignon Blanc thrives in the cooler, more temperate parts of the Río Negro, where the brisk climate helps preserve the grape’s natural acidity and aromatic freshness. The variety benefits from the high diurnal temperature variation, which is instrumental in developing its characteristic vibrant acidity and aromatic profile. The soils, typically alluvial with a mix of clay, silt, and sand, provide good drainage and moderate fertility, conditions that Sauvignon Blanc vines prefer for producing grapes of high quality and concentration.
  6. Semillón: Semillón is well-suited to the Río Negro's unique climatic conditions, which allow for the slow maturing that this grape variety requires to develop its full potential. The grape does well in the region’s sandy-loam soils, which ensure good drainage and help to control vine vigor for a more concentrated fruit yield. The relatively dry climate of the area, with low rainfall and high insolation, reduces the risk of fungal diseases, a significant advantage for the relatively disease-prone Semillón vines. This environment supports the development of grapes that retain their acidity while reaching optimal ripeness, a balance critical for producing the high-quality wines for which the Río Negro is renowned.

Each of these grape varieties contributes to the diversity of wine making in Río Negro, showcasing the unique terroir and the viticultural prowess of the area.

Río Negro, a jewel in the crown of Argentina's Patagonia and Atlantic region, stands out for its exceptional wine production, capturing the hearts of oenophiles across the globe. The region's signature climate, marked by sunny days followed by cool nights, plays a pivotal role in sculpting the unique flavor profiles of its wines. This diurnal temperature variation not only enhances the aromatic complexity of the grapes but also contributes to the depth of flavors found in the region's fertile soils. From robust reds to refreshing whites, Río Negro offers a diverse palette of wines that reflect the richness and versatility of its terroir. Below, we explore the aromatic and flavor profiles of some of the most celebrated wines from Río Negro.

  1. Malbec: Río Negro's Malbec is a testament to the region's ability to produce red wines of profound depth and character. Malbec red wines are distinguished by their bold, fruit-forward profile, featuring rich plum and blackberry notes at the forefront. These luscious fruit flavors are elegantly accented by hints of spice, contributing to the wine's complexity. The presence of velvety tannins ensures a well-balanced structure, making these Malbecs particularly enjoyable with rich, hearty dishes. The wine's robust nature and intricate flavor profile are reflective of the temperate climate and fertile soils in which the grapes are nurtured.
  2. Pinot Noir: The Pinot Noir from Río Negro is celebrated for its refined elegance and nuanced flavors, thanks to the cooler temperatures that favor its cultivation. This wine presents a delightful array of bright red fruit flavors, such as cherry and raspberry, underscored by delicate tannins that lend it a silky texture. The Pinot Noir's light body and subtle complexity make it an exceptionally versatile wine, pairing beautifully with a wide range of foods, from grilled fish to lighter poultry dishes. Its acclaim within the region and beyond is a testament to the unique climatic conditions that allow for the slow ripening of the grapes, resulting in a wine of exceptional grace and vibrancy.
  3. Sauvignon Blanc: On the white wines side, Río Negro's Sauvignon Blanc stands out for its zesty and vibrant character. The cool climate of the region ensures a slow maturation of the grapes, preserving their natural acidity and resulting in a wine with lively citrus and tropical fruit aromas. This Sauvignon Blanc is known for its crispness and refreshing palate, making it a perfect choice for warm days or as an accompaniment to seafood and salads. Its aromatic intensity and lively profile are indicative of the meticulous vineyard management and favorable climatic conditions of Río Negro.
  4. Chardonnay: Chardonnay from Río Negro enjoys the benefits of limestone-rich soils, which contribute to a wine with a harmonious blend of ripe fruit flavors, a hint of oak, and a creamy texture. This wine exhibits a complexity that is both satisfying and versatile, capable of complementing a wide array of dishes. The balanced expression of fruit and subtle use of oak in Río Negro's Chardonnays offer a nuanced drinking experience, showcasing the region's ability to produce white wines with both depth and elegance.

The wines of Río Negro are a reflection of the region's unique terroir and its wine making expertise. From the velvety depths of Malbec to the refreshing zest of Sauvignon Blanc, each wine offers a distinct experience, inviting wine enthusiasts to explore the diverse and captivating flavors of Argentina's Patagonia region.