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San Juan Valleys

Description

The striking valleys of San Juan province are located between 650 and 1,300 meters above sea level. Their cold waters, rich in nutrients, originate in the surrounding snow-capped peaks that irrigate this oasis. Having an annual average temperature of 17° C, annual rainfalls reaching 90 mm and fertile sandy alluvial and clay soils, these valleys provide excellent conditions for producing intense and fruity wines, rich in personality and terroir. Furthermore, San Juan is a special tourism destination, giving visitors the chance to discover unexplored landscapes of mountains, valleys and deserts.

San Juan enjoys one the sunniest climates of the world, with less than 30 days of cloudy skies throughout the year. The nights are cool, sharply contrasting with the warm days. This wide temperature range is ideal for growing grapes which are high in polyphenols. The main viticulture areas are comprised within the valleys of Tulum, Ullum, Zonda, Pedernal and Calingasta.

Tulum Valley is enclosed by Chico del Zonda mountain in the Andes and Pie de Palo Mountain, located at 635 meters above sea level. This valley comprises the greatest amount of hectares of grapes for wine-making in San Juan. The region is characterized by the heterogeneity of its lands: it combines clay, sandy and silt loam soils.

San Juan River runs through the Zonda Valley, which is located at around 900 meters above sea level. The valley has a large area of vineyards where the main varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon, Tannat, Malbec, Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc.

Pedernal Valley, in Sarmiento department is located at 1,300 meters above the sea level. Its soil is alluvial and stony. The area uses drip irrigation systems widely, as a consequence of the height of the valley walls. The main characteristic of this valley is its great temperature range (around 30° C) which results in the outstanding development of the implanted varieties, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc grapes stand out.

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