Luján de Cuyo was Argentina’s first official wine appellation when it was established in 1993. The appellation is named for the city of Luján de Cuyo, the department capital. Vineyards in this appellation are in the upper Mendoza Valley, and they are often at altitudes of 3,300 feet or more. The soil is sandy and alluvial with clay underneath and moderate rainfall encourages growth. Historically the area grew pink skin grapes for slightly sweet pink or white wines. Since the late 1980s, however, Malbec has been Mendoza’s most important grape, since it makes a rich, dark, robust, age-worth red. The second most important red grape is Bonarda, which is thought to be the same grape that California growers know as Charbono. Italian and Spanish red grapes including Sangiovese, Barbera and Tempranillo were brought by immigrants, and they are grown today. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Torrontés and numerous other red and white grapes are also grown successfully. Considered by many to be the most desirable wine appellation in Argentina, Luján de Cuyo has attracted attention from international winemakers and producers.
This grape produces a dark red wine with plenty of tannins. It is one of the six grapes allowed for blending red Bordeaux wines. Malbec is also the flagship variety of Argentina. The grape needs a lot of sun and heat to mature. It adds complexity and intensity to blends.