Discovering the wine region of Tulum Valley
Tulum Valley is a wine-growing sub-region of San Juan, Argentina. Vineyards surround the city of San Juan in the east of the province of the same name at the foot of the Andes Mountains.
Syrah is fast becoming the region's flagship Grape variety, producing Dense, peppery red wines with Rich fruit characters. High quality red and white wines are also being produced in the region from grape varieties such as Malbec, Chardonnay and Viognier.
In the past the Tulum Valley has been seen as the workhorse region of San Juan. The latter has a similar reputation and wines made here are often destined to become a component of more regional blends, but this is changing.
The valley can be found between the western slopes of the Andes and the much lower Pie de Palo hills 30 kilometers (20 miles) to the east. The San Juan River curves through the Tulum Valley on its way toward the ocean, and the city of San Juan provides a gateway of sorts for Tulum Valley's embryonic wine tourism industry.
The Zonda Valley sits directly to the west of Tulum Valley, in the foothills of the Andes themselves.
The Tulum Valley sits at a latitude of 31°S, and viticulture is only possible because of the water supplied by the San Juan River and the region's topography. Most regions at this latitude are desert or semi-desert (Northern Egypt is the same distance from the Equator, to the north) and are prohibitively hot.
However, the average altitude of Tulum's vineyards, at 650m (2200ft), moderates the high temperatures and promotes healthy grape development by ensuring greater duration and intensity of sunlight.