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Lunlunta Wine

A Lunlunta wine label

Lunlunta is a small sub-region of Mendoza, Argentina. Located on the northern edge of the Lunlunta hills along the course of the Mendoza River, the area straddles both the Maipu and Lujan de Cuyo administrative departments. Most grapes in the area go into more regional blends, but some quality wines made of Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec are produced in Lunlunta.

Lunlunta shares a similar terroir to much of Mendoza, with the high altitude of the vineyards playing a big part in viticulture. The region sits at about 3000ft (900m) above sea level, which moderates the high temperatures that are usually associated with areas this close to the equator. Intense sunshine during the day is followed by much colder nights that are fueled by cold alpine air from the nearby Andes Mountains. This diurnal temperature variation extends the growing season by effectively shutting off ripening in the grapes overnight, allowing for the development of complex fruit characters along with acidity.

Lunlunta's proximity to the Mendoza River means that its soil types are alluvial: sandy topsoil over mineral-rich clay with some pockets of limestone. This kind of soil is relatively free-draining, causing the vines to grow roots deep into the ground for hydration. The increased strength and health that these deep root systems afford lead to higher-quality grapes. The dry climate in Lunlunta means that irrigation is necessary, and meltwater from high in the Andes is brought into the region by the river.

Few wineries are located in Lunlunta itself, but many of Mendoza's most prestigious wine companies have vineyards in the area, Catena Zapata among them.

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