The Best Patagonia Wineries in Neuquen’s Unexpected Wine Region

Unexpected wine region, that’s how I felt about the Patagonia wineries in Neuquen.

Argentina is famous for Mendoza and its Malbec.

This post makes the argument for visiting Patagonia wineries for its delicious Pinot Noir.

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Visiting Patagonia Wineries: The Unexpected Wine Region in Neuquen

Full discloure: I’m dead set on visiting every wine region in Argentina but I also had zero interest in visiting industrial Neuquen.

The unpolished city in the northern Patagonia desert is far more famous for its oil industry than its vineyards.

But when a cheaper than cheap flight promo convinced me to purchase a ticket there, I jumped at the chance to visit these Patagonia wineries.

And I’m glad I did! While I stand by the fact that Neuquen as a city isn’t a beautiful destination, the landscape surrounding it is.

And these wineries in Patagonia were definitely worth the trip.

Our Short Tour of The Best Wineries in Patagonia

We weren’t in this area of Neuquen for long since we were passing through on our way to San Martin de los Andes.

With our limited time we were only able to visit two wineries.

I’ll start with the two we visited and our experience there, but this post includes all the Patagonia wineries in the region and how to visit them.

Neuquen’s Wine Region

The Patagonia vineyards are in the province of Neuquen, an hour northwest of Neuquen city in the San Patricio del Chañar municipality.

The dry desert climate in this region of southern Argentina, with warm days and very cold nights, is ideal for producing high quality wine.

Wineries in Patagonia didn’t exist until twenty years ago, when Bodega Fin del Mundo first planted vines in 1999.

Don’t let that discourage you though, the Uco Valley was once viewed as a risky investment for winemakers and today it produces Argentina’s best wines.

What to Taste: Pinot Noir

The temperature variance isn’t the only reason Patagonia is an excellent wine region.

The wind plays a big part as well, keeping the vines healthy and insect-free, as well as resulting in grapes with more robust skin.

This thicker skin produces the best Pinot Noir in Argentina.

It has a rich flavor and a deep red color, unlike most Pinot Noirs.

Buy a bottle of a Pinot Noir from Mendoza and you’ll notice that it’s nearly transparent compared to one from Neuquen.

Pinot Noir, along with Merlot, are the varietals to try here at the wineries in Patagonia.

1. Familia SChroeder

Hours | Mon-Sun, 10 am – 7 pm
Tours | English & Spanish, every hour on the hour lasting around one hour
Contact | turismo@familiaschroeder.com – website

We started our day at Familia Schroeder with a tasting, forgoing the tour just due to time constraints.

The tasting cost the same as it would have with a tour, so if you have the time there’s no reason to skip it.

The already affordable tour price can be applied to the purchase of a bottle of wine or towards a meal at their restaurant.

Their Saurus wines and restaurant are dinosaur themed for a reason.

When they were digging in to prepare the land for vineyards, they uncovered the bones of a massive dinosaur.

It was named the Panamericansaurus Schroederi. It’s one of many skeletons discovered in Patagonia and Trelew (on the Atlantic Coast side of Patagonia) is home to an excellent Paleontology Museum.

2. Malma

Hours | Mon-Fri, 9 am – 4 pm | Sat/Sun/Holidays, 10 am – 5 pm
Tours | Every hours punctually on the hour
Contact | website

Our next and ultimately last stop was Malma.

We wanted to visit a third but we were enjoying ourselves too much at Malma and both our tasting and lunch ran long.

We showed up planning to take the tour, but had just missed it so we joined them on the tasting (the best part anyway, am I right?).

I loved the architecture at Malma. The building seems to be part of the hill it’s built on, or in, it’s hard to tell which and I like it.

Our guide here was excellent, really getting into a conversation with us about what you taste in a wine.

She brought out the essential oils they use when training as sommeliers to learn to isolate tastes like apple, lemon, and even smoke.

Malma and its restaurant

Winery Lunch at Malma

Note | Reservations recommended, especially on weekends. You can more easily drop in without a reservation during the week. For more information, click here.

We chose to have lunch at Malma (versus Saurus at Familia Schroeder) because they have outdoor seating and it was a gorgeous day.

Although the seating on their patio was geared more to lounging than actually dining, which I find to be a big mistake. People like to eat outside on beautiful days in Patagonia.

But we’re not ones to be discouraged, so we hunched over our low little table and enjoyed the fresh air.

On weekdays they have a steal of a lunch special (menu ejecutivo or menu del dia). For the equivalent of $15 US it included a starter, main dish, dessert, water and a generous glass of wine.

We killed the rest of our afternoon enjoying our three course meal like royalty.

3. Bodega Fin del Mundo

Hours | Mon-Fri, 10 am – 6 pm. Saturdays, 10 am – 5 pm
Contact | turismo@bdfm.com.ar – website

I was especially disappointed not to be able to visit Bodega Fin del Mundo.

They’re the most well known Patagonia vineyard and I see their wines in the shops all the time.

If like me, you’re unable to visit Fin del Mundo, don’t worry. They export to over thirty destinations so you can conduct your own tasting at home.

4. Secreto Patagonico

Contact | info.mantra@secretopatagonico.com – website

Being true to their name, Secreto Patagonico is a true mystery.

Their website offers very little information so I’m not sure when they are open or when they offer tours.

Likely they follow a similar schedule to those above, but I will update this post with up to date information as soon as I hear back from them.

Despite their minimal web presence (which isn’t uncommon here in Argentina), I was disappointed to not be able to visit Secreto Patagonico.

This time for the opposite reason of Fin del Mundo, I had never heard of them.

I try to make it a habit of visiting new (to me) vineyards and trying something new.

5. Bodega Patritti

Contact | turismo@bodegaspatritti.com.ar – website

Yet another website with no information regarding their tours. They have a “turismo” email address, so I can only assume they offer them.

The architecture at Bodega Patritti is particularly stunning, both modern but also blending in with the surrounding landscape.

The waves in the roof echo the rolling hills of the vineyard.

BONUS WINERY | Bodega des de la Torre

Contact | des_delatorre@hotmail.com – website

Bodega Des de la Torre is in a different region of Neuquen.

It’s located 400 km northwest of Neuquen city on the famous Ruta 40 at the foot of the Andes Mountains.

This tiny boutique winery in Chos Malal produces high quality wines in a stunning location. One thing to keep in mind is their isolated location.

Des de la Torre isn’t part of the main San Patricio del Chañar circuit, but if you plan on driving north on the Ruta 40 you should definitely visit this tiny winery in Chos Malal.

Map of the Patagonia Wineries

Below is a map of all the Patagonia wineries mentioned in this article.

You can see that most are clustered together just north of Neuquen city proper. They can easily be visited on a day trip from the city.

Bodega Des de la Torre is significantly further and can’t be visited on the same day or likely even the same trip.

Read Next | Things to do in San Martin de los Andes

How to Visit the Vineyards in Patagonia

These wineries are a little over an hour from the city center of Neuquen, so the best way to visit them is by car.

Public transport would likely get you into the vicinity but there are kilometers between each winery, so walking isn’t an option even once you’re there.

Check rates here for rental cars in Neuquen.

Read More About Argentina’s Wine Regions

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2 thoughts on “The Best Patagonia Wineries in Neuquen’s Unexpected Wine Region”

  1. I enjoyed this article. My wife and I will be going to Bariloche next year to do some outdoor stuff—late spring skiing, fishing, horseback riding. I could really make her happy if I could come up with a great winery or two to visit. Any suggestions?

  2. Hi Doug!! Sounds like ya’ll will have a great trip!
    I wish there were wineries near Bariloche, I’m not aware of any. Most Patagonian wine comes from Neuquen like in this post and it’s quite a trek (5-6 hours drive from Bariloche aprox). But if your wife loves chocolate she’ll be in absolute heaven in Bariloche!!

    In regards to your skiing in Bariloche, I have a guide here that I hope is helpful:
    https://www.solsalute.com/blog/winter-in-bariloche-skiing-in-argentina

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