Uco Valley
The Uco Valley is a new and distinct sub region of Mendoza that sprung to acclaim in the last decade on the back of the research and subsequent enthusiasm of superstar French winemaker Michel Rolland. The region lies a couple hours southwest of the city of Mendoza and is as close as one can get to the Andes Mountains while still ripening grapes.

Vineyards are as high as 3,600 feet in elevation and the climate as a whole is significantly chillier than the historic heart of Mendoza. The wines, as such, tend to be high-strung and perfumed with excellent acidity. The region produces distinctive Malbecs and may well come to be recognized as Argentina's finest source of Chardonnay.

Several famous producers from Bordeaux such as Lurton and Rothschild have settled in the area and top-shelf producers are lining up to source Uco grapes. Recently built, state of the art showpiece wineries are cropping up, lending this region a bit of Napa Valley flair.

While the remoteness of the region may throw a kink in the works, the obvious goal of many is to pursue wine tourism in addition to world class grapes. If nothing else, the spectacular moon-scape scenery and the proximity to the majestic, snow-capped Andes is worth the trip if you find yourself in Mendoza. (Wine/Appellations)