Vino Et Spiritus - About Us


Argentina has a long history of wine-making although its wines are always considered to be part of the New World. They have been making wine since the 1550’s, a century before South Africa, and well over 200 years before the Australians planted their first vines in 1788.

The first Argentine vineyards were planted in the north and around Mendoza by the Spanish to make communion wine. Wherever there was irrigation, these early pioneers found the conditions pretty much ideal for making wine. There were cloudless skies and over 300 days of sunshine a year. There were the right type of soils, and there were cool nights.
A French agronomist called Miguel Pouget who was hired by Domenico Sarmiento, a future Argentine president, brought vine cuttings back from France in the 1860’s. These included Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and above all Malbec which at the time was grown right across Southern France. Its most famous expression was the ancient ‘Black wine of Cahors’ and it was this rather than Burgundy or Bordeaux, that was the first wine ever recorded by the London Wine Exchange in the 11th century.

The quality of Argentinean wine has got better and better over the years and now days Argentina is a world’s fifth largest wine producer with traditional wine drinking culture.

Argentinean wine regions

San Juan is an important and second-largest Argentinean wine region. Originally a prolific producer of high-yielding pink grape varieties (e.g. Cereza), whose high sugar content made them ideal for blending, San Juan is now producing wines of increasing quality using traditional European grape varieties. San Juan is home to Bonarda, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet, Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot and Syrah for red wines, and Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Torrontes and Viognier for white wines. It also produces a large quantity of Criolla and Cereza grapes, which are generally used to make cheaper, slightly sweet wines. Additionally, the region produces sherry-style wines and provides most of the base for Argentina's brandy and vermouth. The most important area of production is the Tulum Valley.
Tulum Valley is located to the east, it surrounds the town of San Juan, from which the region derives its name.
The Tulum Valley sits at a latitude of 31 degrees south, and viticulture is only possible because of the water supplied by the San Juan river and the region's topography. However, the average altitude of Tulum's vineyards, at 2200 ft (650m), moderates the high temperatures and promotes healthy grape development by ensuring greater duration and intensity of sunlight.
Chardonnay and Torrontes grapes produce some very good white wines in Tulum, and the local Syrah is also gaining recognition for its strong varietal expression.