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Wine Tourism

The Wine Route in San Juan: a new option for wine lovers

December 9, 2008 | in Tourism

Planned as a tourist circuit, the San Juan Wine Route has become one of the most traditional options for visitors. Fifteen wineries integrate the tour and offer very different programs, from organic wine production to sparkling wines elaborated at the very heart of the mountain.

In Argentina, the development of wine tourism circuits is rising relentlessly. In the past few years, San Juan wineries have made big efforts to prepare their facilities to produce quality wines and welcome tourists. In this article, WineSur offers a tour around the five circuits of the province.

Located in the West of Argentina, San Juan shares its border with La Rioja to the North and Mendoza to the South, and it is one of the country’s major wine producing regions. Its Wine Route comprises five circuits according to geographic distribution: Central, North, South, East and West.

The Central Wine Route includes wineries with tourism projects in the center of San Juan city. There, one of the most traditional industries of the province opens its doors for visitors to learn about its secrets, stories and the marvelous world of wine. Among the wineries located in this circuit, Bodegas y Viñedos Santiago Graffigna stands out for its theme museum equipped with state-of-the-art technology and featuring the history of one of the province’s most important families. Another winery in this circuit is Antigua Bodega, originally built in the early 20th century. Today, it is a museum exhibiting machines, presses, pumps and casks that used to be employed in early winemaking undertakings. In addition, it has a gourmet restaurant, beautiful gardens and pergolas and an exclusive art gallery. The third winery on this route is Duc de Saint Remy, located near San Juan’s downtown area, in one of the major roads. It has a beautiful avant-garde urban winery architecture.

The Northern Wine Route comprises a single winery: Bodega Juan José Diapolo – El Milagro, located in the district of Albardón. This craft-production winery reflects the effort and tenacity of San Juan producers and their attachment to their land. The winery is about to turn 10 years old and offers a wonderful invitation to experience the taste of wine and other virtues of the wine world.

The Southern Wine Route has the largest number of wineries in its circuit. At Bodegas La Guarda, high technology and avant-garde design come together to allow this boutique winery to offer excellent products and appropriate tourism facilities. Another company located in this area is Viñas de Segisa, which has a mini-restaurant and a gift and wine shop and offers a superb tour. Bodega Fabril Alto Verde, located in Pocito district, is a family winery that makes wines exclusively from its own organic grapes grown in the Tulum Valley. The winery tour allows visitors to observe the mechanisms and processes of varietal making, enhanced by the company’s health focus (its products are free of chemical synthesis processes or genetically modified organisms), and the tour is called to an end in the wine bar. Bodega Las Marianas offers a tasting of its exclusive wines, made under personalized control conditions, as well as a tour around the old winery whose machines date back to 1920. Finally, Champañera Miguel Más is a family-run champagne making undertaking located in a very fertile area surrounded by mountains and irrigated by water descending from the Andes Mountains.

The Eastern Wine Route encompasses four wineries. San Juan de Cuyo Bodegas y Viñedos dates back to the early 1950s. Its restoration and modernization process was guided by principles concerning current winemaking techniques and wine tourism activities. In addition, Casamontes Bodegas y Viñedos, located in Pozo de los Algarrobos, is a winery that resembles a White cube, perfectly isolated and refrigerated. Visitors are required to book their tours in advance. Bodegas Callia is another option to visit in this circuit. The tour covers its original 104-years-old facilities, where the different winemaking, aging and bottling processes can be appreciated; it has a wine shop, tasting room and gorgeous vineyards that may also be visited. The fourth winery in this circuit is Bodega Augusto Pulenta Depto San Martin, which is also over 100 years old and is framed by a stunning landscape.

Finally, the Western Wine Route offers two destinations: Merced del Estero and Cavas de Zonda. The first is a family undertaking surrounded by an amazing setting. It has state-of-the-art technology and a great tourism infrastructure for welcoming visitors. The latter is located at the very heart of the mountains, as only 3 other wineries in the world are, surrounded by legends and mystical winds. The different stages of sparkling wine production are covered by the tour as well as its bottling and labeling premises. Moreover, Cavas de Zonda has an award exhibition room, a mini shop and a tasting room.

Source: Tourism Department of San Juan province

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