This wine region located in the Eastern area of the province and developed in the plains crossed by the Mendoza and Tunuyán rivers, comprises the largest extension of vineyards in Mendoza and for a while now it has been under a significant re-conversion of grapes and wineries aiming at the production of high quality wines. The Central Valley is a rural and cultural area including the departments of San Martín, Rivadavia, Junín, Santa Rosa and La Paz, where agricultural tourism activities may be enjoyed framed by the Huarpe heritage, the Corocorto curatage domains, the relay road and circuit related to General San Martin’s deeds.
The department of San Martín – named after national hero General José de San Martín in 1941- is one of the main wine producing localities of Argentina, South America and the world.
To the North and East of San Martín, Junín department has a cultivated area comprising almost 90% of its territory. Its main economic activities include viticulture, olive tree growing and olive oil production as well as poultry farming.
Rivadavia has mainly developed a viticulture economy, its grapes directed to must and wine production. For visitors seeking educational and entertaining alternatives, Cabaña Tulumaya gathers 60 hectares with a colonial house of adobe walls, cane roof, red tiles, galleries and large bedrooms; it also has a museum with elements, carriages and other objects from the early 20th Century. In the summer time, the lake of El Carrizal dam is a meeting point shared by Rivadavia and Luján departments. It offers the opportunity to camp, swim and enjoy leisure activities like water skiing, windsurfing, sailing and fishing.
La Paz and Santa Rosa are the Eastern entry points to the province. Winemaking, fruit production and cattle raising in dry areas are some of their major economic activities. History, tradition, folklore, crafts and an ancient religious heritage make these departments attractive for visitors.
In the Central Valley it is possible to follow a Wine Route encompassing a string of modern wineries, along with the most traditional ones. The circuit covers estates and industries that are iconic among the agricultural and industrial undertakings of the region.
Historical sites such as the Museum of Bóvedas in San Martín, the relay roads formerly used by carriages joining the viceroyalties, and Orfila Mill in Junín suggest the presence of General San Martín every step of the way. The Central Valley is an area identified with history, rural tourism, typical meals, marmalades, festivals and shows, regional crafts, farms, estates and fields.
Surface: 15.615 km² (San Martín 1.504 km², Junín 263 km², Rivadavia
2.141 km², Santa Rosa 8.510 km², La Paz 7.105 m²)
Population: 225.585 inhabitants (estimated)
Business hours: 8 to 1 pm and 4 to 9 pm
Area Code: 54 2623
International Airport: In Mendoza: “Francisco Gabrielli” – Las Heras – Phone: 54 261 520 6000 – 5480 6111
Bus Station: Terminal San Martín – Sarmiento y Tucumán
San Martín – Phone: 54 2623 422163.
The activity of the area is mainly viticultural. In addition, Rivadavia is increasing its cattle activity, especially after being declared Aphthosis fever-free area by international organisms. Historically, Mendoza’s Eastern area has occupied an important place in the provincial economic growth, including its golden time, the era of the train and the immigrants, which contributed to the improvement of the region, achieving a satisfactory insertion, at a rate similar to Greater Mendoza’s.
Main Tourism Centers
In San Martín, visitors may enjoy cultural attractions such as Las Bóvedas Historic Museum, Olivo Histórico, Las Palmeras Avenue, Buen Orden Chapel and Paseo Sarmiento Park, among others. Junín is known as “Mendoza´s Garden” due to its beautiful and abundant flowers. Remarkable attractions include Los Barriales, Orfila vineyards and Gobernador Tiburcio Benegas dam. A restored old yard has become a site of historical significance – Solar Histórico – which used to be part of a flour mill related to patriotic activities. In Rivadavia, the main tourism area is enclosed by the Complejo Turístico Recreativo (Tourism and Recreational Complex) with 76 hectares of grass, an artificial lake and a sports center. El Carrizal dam is the favorite spot in Rivadavia, chosen by local and foreign tourists who camp or stay at its hostels or weekend houses and engage in aquatic sports. In Santa Rosa, attractions include the Ñacuñán biodiversity reserve, the Bernardo Razquín Historic and Archaeological Museum, the Santa Rosa de Lima parish church, and rural attractions. La Paz offers numerous religious sites, the Craft-makers circuit, the Civic neighborhood, Los Campamentos, Desaguadero River, where adventure tourism activities are carried out, and the Desaguadero Complex in the entrance to the province.
Homage to San Martín’s Heroic exploit, a trip through different localities arriving at El Plumerillo historical field
“Rivadavia Sings for the Country” Festival – Rivadavia
“Rivadavia Dances for the Country” Festival – Rivadavia
Peace and Cuyo’s Song Festival – La Paz
Festival of Cultures – Junín
International Cycling Grand Prize throughout the province
Blessing of fruits (traditional religious harvest celebration)
Prosciutto and Homemade Bread Festival – Junín
Honey Festival – San Martín
Peach Festival – Rivadavia
Pejerrey Fishing Contest – El Carrizal, Rivadavia
Singing among the vines Festival – Junín
Wineries Rally (High mountains and Wine Route)
Must Festival – Rivadavia
Sport Fishing Week in rivers and lakes of the province
Classical Music Concerts in the Wine Route
Religious Circuits during Holy Week
Singing and Melesca (harvest of small quantities of honey) Festival – Junín
Harvest Auto Racing 2000 Prize – San Martín
Carob Tree Festival – Junín
Horseback riding skills Festival – Junín
Festival in honor of Nuestra Sra. de la Paz – La Paz
Festival in honor of Santa Rosa de Lima – Santa Rosa
Festival in honor of San Cayetano – Junín
Tango through the Wine Routes
Mate Festival – Junín
Industrial Agricultural Fair – Rivadavia
Old Motorbikes Rally
Festival in honor of Virgen del Rosario – Junín
Cantapueblo: Choir Festival
throughout the province
Wine Race – San Martín
Festival in Honor of San Vicente and the keepers of outpost stations – San Martín
Provincial Water Festival – El Carrizal, Rivadavia
Tradition Day Celebrations
throughout the region
Rivadavia Foundation Anniversary Activities – Rivadavia
San Martín Foundation Anniversary Activities – San Martín
Provincial Tango Festival – San Martín
Information and photos courtesy of Mendoza’s Tourism Secretariat
Tourism Information Centres
San Martín: Balcarce y Sarmiento – Phone: 54 2623 428987
www.sanmartin.mendoza.gov.ar – [email protected]
Junín: Municipal House – Área de Turismo – Sarmiento y
San Martín. Phone: 2623 492050 / 751 – [email protected]
Rivadavia: Municipal House – Lavalle y Aristóbulo del Valle
Phone: 2623 444544 / 442303 – www.rivadaviamendoza.gov.ar
San Martin, Junín, Santa Rosa, La Paz and Rivadavia are the departments that comprise the region called Central Valley. It represents the major viticulture region of Argentina. In addition to having a surface of over 72,000 hectares of vineyards, it is cultivated with other crops such as olive trees, fruits and it has a significant honey production. Fed by the waters of Tunuyán and Mendoza rivers, this region concentrates its viticulture activity between 650 and 750 meters above sea level. The region has a mild to warm weather and 2,200 sunlight hours in a period of 210 days, offering an appropriate climate for grape ripening. In contrast with other viticulture oases, this Eastern region does not have a wide temperature range in the summer, with temperatures rarely falling below 59º F. The soils are wind-originating, sandy, lime-sandy and rich in potassium, with some salty spots.
The region’s main grapes include Criolla Grande, Cereza, Bonarda, Moscatel Rosado, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. Lately, this region has shown a noticeable progress in estate management, irrigation systems, technology advances in vineyards, wineries and concentrated grape juice production facilities. The advantages of the Central Valley include the availability of land for agriculture, the youth of the vineyards and favorable agricultural and ecological conditions for obtaining optimum quality wines.