The Department of Lavalle is located in the northeast sector of the Province of MendozMendoza its head village is 36 kilometres from the Capital City of Mendoza.
It is limited in the north with the province of San Juan, in the east with the province of San Luis, in the west with the department of Las Heras and in the south with the departments of Santa Rosa, La Paz, San Martín, Maipú and Guaymallén.
It has a temperate and dry climate. In the summer, the temperatures are high due to the great solar irradiation and the sandy and saline ground presence what favours the absorption and due to the little precipitation rate. In the winter time, the temperatures are very low and strong frosts are registered. Frequently, there is a warm wind blowing from the north and there is also the Zonda wind.
Its soil presents characteristics of an ample plain with a northeast slope. The portion that has artificial irrigation is fertile and very apt for the farming and crops activities. The most extensive zone of the department of Lavalle presents the characteristics of a plain, with dunes, saline and desert lands with desert vegetation predominance is apt for the goat cattle and for the development of the ecological beekeeping.
The department is politically divided in the following districts: Villa Tulumaya – main urban area of the department and municipal government seat – Jocolí, Tres de Mayo, Jocolí Viejo, El Chilcal, La Pega, El Vergel, Las Violetas, Paramillo, La Holanda, El Carmen, Ingeniero Gustavo André, Costa de Araujo, San Francisco, La Asunción, Lagunas del Rosario, San Miguel, La Palmera, El Plumero and San José.
The economic development of the department of Lavalle is based on its farming production, among them stand out:
* Wine production
A great percentage of the production of grapes is destined to the winemaking and another one to the elaboration of musts, raisins and consumption in fresh.
Approximately 3,300 hectares are cultivated with garlic, onion, melon, watermelon and tomato.
* Fruit Orchards
The most important and best adapted cultivated species are: plums, pears, peaches, quinces, and apricots.
* Reforestation activity
There is the cultivation of poplar trees, which are destined to the production of wood, and in a lesser extent it is used like barrier against winds in the different agricultural activities. Another cultivated species is the eucalyptus. The possibility of reforesting the desert zone with native species like the sweet carob tree is being investigated.
In addition to the activities mentioned above, these activities also make their contribution to the evolution of Lavalle:
– The cattle ranch, which can be divided in two well differentiated zones.
The first is Bajo Riego: producer of very good quality alfalfa, it can be perfectly adapted to the breeding of all types of cattle, in special for the fattening of bovine and the breeding of pigs, among others.
The second is Secano: it occupies most of the surface of the department. It is propitious for the breeding of bovines and mainly goat cattle.
– The beekeeping is also done in two different zones:
The Desert zone: with vegetal species, such as the alpataco, the carob tree, the atamisque, the chañar, etc., that turns the region into a very good producer of pollen and honey with a low humidity content, at certain times of the year.
The Irrigated zone: this is where vineyards, fruit trees, vegetables, forest and some forage are cultivated. The production of pollen in this region is very interesting. The low relative humidity of the department, allows the acquisition of a product of high quality.