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Uco Valley


Wines from this region

Introduction

In the past few years, the Uco Valley has seen its territory increase its cultivated area as a result of investments by the most important Argentinian wineries as well as by foreign capitals. This election has not been an accidental one. Located at the foot of the Andes, with a majestic landscape and average altitudes over 1,000 meters above sea level, the Uco Valley is a privileged site for the production of high quality wines. Moreover, the productive corridor connecting Tupungato and Tunuyán is one of the region’s most important cultural-industrial circuits, with interesting attractions related to rural and wine tourism.

San Carlos department has experienced an important growth in tourism due to its beautiful natural resources, like Diamante lagoon, located in the district of Pareditas, 70 kilometers away from the departmental capital. The lagoon has been declared Hydric Reserve in order to preserve the glaciers that give origin to the water courses and underground napas that irrigate the oasis of the Uco Valley.

The word Tupungato has several meanings in the language of the earliest inhabitants, but the most accepted one is “star spectator”, relating to the height and dominion over the departmental landscape, a fact that native inhabitants were aware of. Mount El Plata to the North and Tupungato volcano to the West are the key elements of its grandiose landscape. The department has beautiful tourism sites including Alto de Las Carreras, with its estates comprising the Cordón del Plata circuit, through the distinguished Chateau d’ Ancon, ending in San José district, and its historic chapel. At Los Cerrilos, the Giant Christ sculpture rises as a symbol protecting the valley. The Praying Christ Monastery is one of the most peaceful landscapes, inviting to religious mysticism. The city of Tupungato is known for its homemade dishes and the attractive camping spots that surround it, settled among streams and groves.

Famous for its significance in the world of Argentinian winemaking, Tunuyán stands out for growing apples and vines. It is the cradle of Cuyo’s folkloric music, where the National Tonada Festival takes place. The Manzano Histórico (Historic Apple Tree) region, declared protected reserve area by the province, is the most visited tourism landmark in the valley. The area has a particular microclimate, offering environmental conditions that are favorable for growing forest species such as pine trees. It is located 42 kilometers away from Tunuyán City, at 1,750 meters above sea level. Adventure tourism and Andean horseback riding trips are some of the activities available here, and the site is also significant as historic landmark related to the life of General San Martín, the national independence hero -part of his army crossed the Andes through this area and a monument evokes his glorious return after the independence campaign in 1893. The Manzano Histórico site provides different services and is home to a fish-growing station dedicated to salmon-like trout and two permanent museums: an archaeological one, displaying pre-Hispanic cultural remains and one dedicated to the works and life of general San Martín.

General Information

Demographic Data
Surface: 17.380 km² (San Carlos 11.578 km², Tunuyán 3.317 km²,
Tupungato 2.485 km²)
Population: 100.928 inhabitants (estimated)
Area Code: 54 2622
Bus Terminals: San Carlos: Ruta 40, Eugenio Bustos
Tunuyán: Alem 1145 – Tupungato: Belgrano 1060

Economic Aspects
San Carlos stands out for its agro-industrial activity, for the production of high quality apples, aromatic herbs (mostly oregano for export) and grapes. Tupungato is basically agricultural. Its main production is grapevines but the greatest surface of operations corresponds to fruits. Among them, walnuts stand out, granting Tupungato the nickname of “walnut capital”. Its production represents more than 35% of the production surface of the province. Nevertheless, the most outstanding crop, after grapevine, is peaches, covering almost 50% of the surface. Following in scale, there is apple and pear production, mostly in Tunuyán, and plums, quinces and apricots in lesser amounts.

San Carlos invites with its overwhelming landscapes, its main natural attraction being Diamante lagoon, in Pareditas district. In Tunuyán, adventure tourism can be practiced in Cajón de Arenales, Cerro El Manzano, el Chorro de la Vieja and in Portillo Argentino. In Tupungato the tourist axes of higher value are the Tupungato Provincial Park and Gualtallary Shooting field.

Tourism Calendar

January
Harvest Festival throughout the department
Rose and Crafts Festival – Tunuyán
Oregano Festival – San Carlos

February
National Tonada (Cuyo’s Folk Music) Festival – Tunuyán
International Cycling Grand Prize throughout the province
Blessing of fruits (traditional harvest religious celebration)

March
Wineries Rally (High mountain and Wine Route)
Tomato and Production Fest – San Carlos

April
Stations of the Cross in the Mountains at Manzano Histórico – Tunuyán

June
Craft makers circuit – Tunuyán

August
August 17 (San Martín’s Death) Memorial at Manzano Histórico – Tunuyán

September
Student Week and Festival
Tourism and Immigrant Communities Festival – Tunuyán

October
Cantapueblo: Choir Festival
throughout the province

November
Provincial Tradition Festival – San Carlos

December
Provincial Cherry Festival – Tunuyán
Cyclists Gathering – Tupungato

Information and photos courtesy of the Tourism Secretariat of Mendoza province

Tourism Information Centers
Tupungato
Hotel Turismo: Belgrano 1060 – Phone: 54 2622 488007
www.tupungato.mendoza.gov.ar / munitup@slatinos.com.ar

Tunuyán
Municipal House – Phone: 54 2622 422195 – 193 int.249
Cit: San Martín y Dalmau – Phone: 54 2622 425810
www.tunuyan.mendoza.gov.ar – municipalidaddetunuyan@yahoo.com.ar

San Carlos
Tourism Department: W. Lencina y El Fuerte
Phone: 54 2622 452012 www.sancarloshoy.com.ar – turismosancarlos@ar.inter.net
Information Center Nº1: Ruta Nac. 40 – El Chacay
Information Center Nº2: Ejército de Los Andes
La Consulta Bus Station

Grape and Wine Production

This region -which has experienced the greatest growth in the past few years- comprises the departments of Tunuyán, Tupungato and San Carlos and is located in the Center-West of Mendoza. The valley’s climate is rigorous in the winter and warm in the summer, with cool nights. The annual average temperature is 14.2º C. It has over 20,000 hectares of vineyards lying at the foot of the Andes Mountain range.

The region is known for its altitude vineyards and for its aptitude for high quality grape growing, which leads to excellent white and red wine production. However, red varieties are predominant in the region. Moreover, the good acidity level achieved by the grapes bestows a good aging capacity on the wines of the Uco Valley.

The white varieties most developed in the region are: Chardonnay, Semillón, Torrontés and Pedro Giménez. Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Tempranillo and Bonarda stand out among red varieties. Even Pinot Noir and Syrah find the altitude conditions of the Uco Valley suitable for optimal ripening.