Roughly 60 miles in length, the Leyda Valley is bordered by the Andes to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. At 22,828 feet, the peak of Mt. Aconcagua is in Argentina and is the highest mountain in the Americas. Its foothills rise up through Chile and it stands as a ‘stone sentinel’ over the valley bearing its name. Its snow-capped peak lends beauty, while snowmelt provides essential water to the Aconcagua River, near which many wine-growing areas are found.
Altitude in the region ranges from 3300 feet in the foothills to 160 feet near the sea. This unique landscape helps regulate the normally high daytime temperatures during the growing season by drawing cool air from the coast. Each evening, cold air descends from the snow-covered peaks of the Andes, cooling the grapes after a day of hot sun. These dramatic daytime to nighttime temperature changes allow for wines with fresh fruit flavors, ripe tannins and deep color. Red grapes have long flourished in the region, but new coastal plantations are helping prove Aconcagua’s potential for white wines and cool-climate styles.