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The world's southernmost vineyard

Grasshopper Rock is one of the southernmost vineyards in the world and is situated at 45.25 degree south latitude. We have always claimed that there are no vineyards any further south in the world and have found no evidence to suggest otherwise.

At the International Cool Climate Wine Symposium (ICCWS) held in England in May 2016, global warming and its impact on grape growing was discussed and it was claimed grapes were being grown further south than Alexandra, Central Otago at Sarmiento in Patagoini, Argentina.

To clarify who can claim to be the southernmost vineyards, I researched grape growing in Patagonia and found some evidence of grape growing trials below 45 degrees south but no evidence of successful and sustainable winegrowing. This is similar to New Zealand where small numbers of vines grow south of 45.25 degrees south but these have proved to be unsustainable winegrowing ventures due to the more extreme and unreliable weather.

The vineyards at Alexandra, Central Otago on the 45.25 degree south latitude can still claim to be the world's southernmost vineyards. See Google Maps here
The world's southernmost vineyards

These vineyards on the Earnsclugh Rim, Alexandra, Central Otago, are the southernmost in the world and are situated south of latitude 45.25 degrees south.

(The latitude line is marked)

The world's southernmost vineyards - These vineyards on the Earnsclugh Rim, Alexandra, Central Otago, are the southernmost in the world and are situated south of latitude 45.25 degrees south. 
(The latitude line is marked)
The southern most vineyards in Patagonia, Argentina

The southern most vineyards in Patagonia, Argentina
At present it appears the southernmost winegrowing venture in South America is at El Hoyo in an Andean valley of Patagonia. This 26 hectare vineyard was established by Bernardo Weinert, who also owns the Mendoza winery that bears his name. It is a hillside slope and planted in Riesling, Pinot Noir and Merlot. The vineyard (image below) can be found on Google Maps at: -42.086071, -71.542089 or here
Sarmiento, in Chubut province, which was mentioned at the ICCWS, is located 360 km south of El Hoya and is at the southern end of Lake Musters and Lake Colhue Huapi. This is cold semi-arid climate that closely borders on a cold desert climate. Sarmiento temperature data is remarkably similar to Alexandra, Central Otago. See charts later.

Frutos de los Lagos S.A., an Argentinean company, has a large cherry growing and exporting operation based just north of the town at an altitude of 270 masl.

Sarmiento is well known for its cherry, raspberry and other fruit growing. A grape growing trial was established by a businessman from Buenos Aires, who hired terroir consultant Pedro Parra from Chile. There is no information I can find on this trial and it can only be assumed that it has not yet proven to be viable to market any wine from Sarmiento.

The Sarmiento orchards can be found on Google Maps at: -45.529241, -69.085240 or here

Sarmiento and cherry orchards to the north

Sarmiento and cherry orchards to the north
Further south on the southern shore of Lago Buenos Aires is Los Antiguos in Santa Cruz Province. Los Antiguos is 2 km from the border with Chile and is a relatively small agricultural community where the best known crop is cherries and it claims to be the "Cherry Capital of Argentina". Grapes are reported to be growing here but there is no evidence of viable winemaking, at least, not beyond home consumption. The altitude here is 220 masl.

Los Antiguos can be found on Google Maps at: -46.54604, -71.629179 or here

In summary, there does not appear to be viable winegrowing in Argentina below 42 degrees south.

Sarmiento at 45.53 degree south, which is 8,500 km east of Alexandra and only 20 km further south in terms of latitude, has temperature data is almost identical to Alexandra.

Both locations have well established cherry and fine fruit growing orchards. Although rainfall is extremely low, irrigation water is clearly available. There is no obvious reason why the climate and soils would not be suitable for winegrowing at Sarmiento.

There may be other significant reasons why wine is not being produced such as lack of skilled labour, technology, infrastructure and the capital investment required to establish a new industry. Most likely the real reason is grape growing is simply not as profitable as cherries and therefore does not attract the level of investment required to establish new ventures.
If you have any information available on winegrowing in Patagonio south of 45 degrees south we would welcome your email.

Note. Climate data was sourced from www.weatherbase.com