When most Americans think of Patagonia they think of polar fleece and the need to keep warm. What is not well known is that Patagonia is a region that covers one third of Argentina and the Southern part of Chile. In Argentina Patagonia extends from Rio Negro Province to Terra del Fuego, at the tip of Argentina. This extensive area has a wide climatic range. In fact Northern Patagonia has two wine regions centered around the river valleys of the Rio Negro and the Rio Neuquén. During our Américas trip we were fortunate to have the opportunity to sample wines from Neuquén Province. Neuquén Province is a young wine region. The red wines it is known for are Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot and Pinot Noir. While Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon are the top white wines. This article will feature two Patagonia wineries near Rio Neuquén that we got to know during our travels in Argentina. The wineries are Familia Schroeder Viña and Bodega Del Fin Del Mundo.
Familia Schroeder Viña
On our way back to the Lake Region of Argentina, we stopped for wine tasting at Familia Schroeder Viña near Neuquén. Familia Schroeder Viña has a very beautiful and modern bodega with an elegant and panoramic restaurant, the Saurus Restaurant. While we did not dine at the restaurant it did look to be very inviting. The winery is built on top of a Mesozoic Paleontological area, hence the wine label name Saurus. We tried their Saurus reds (Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot and Pinot Noir). They were all quite good and we bought some for the road. We especially liked the Pinot Noir for its bouquet of anise and taste of chocolate.
There is a display of fossils at the bodega, which most visitors will find interesting.
Bodega Del Fin Del Mundo
We did not get to visit Bodega Fin Del Mundo in Neuquén. The bodega was not open when we drove through the area. We were fortunate however, to be able to visit Bodega Del Fin Del Mundo in Buenos Aires later. In fact, we were quite happy when we found out that we were able to visit Del Fin Del Mundo Bodega and restaurant at its Buenos Aires location. The bodega is located at Honduras 5673, Palermo Hollywood, a neighborhood where we spent a month. We enjoyed our dining experience at the restaurant. We also got to try their wine flights. If you happen to visit Buenos Aires check out Del Fin Del Mundo restaurant and wine bar. It is well worth a visit.
Recognition for Patagonia Wines
James England recently noted that the Pinot Noir’s from the cooler Patagonia region have gotten international recognition. He listed a Rio Negra winery, Bodega Chacra as one of the top five organic wineries in Argentina. Bodega Chacra uses natural and biodynamic wine making methods to produce its wines. See Ray Isle’s Food And Wine article on Bodega Chacra’s great Pinot Noir; also check out the Joseph and Curtis article on Bodega’s Charca’s winemaker, Piero Incisa.