Wines of Argentina
Argentina is the 5th largest wine producing nation in the world and the most important in South America. Summers here are generally hot and dry while snowy winters help to irrigate vineyards as melted snow flows down from the Andes mountains. Grapes very easily achieve full ripeness due to these growing conditions.
There are many grape varietals planted in Argentina, but the most famous and important is Argentinian Malbec. Grown best in the equally famous Mendoza region, the top-rated Malbec’s come from the high altitude sub regions of Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley. These districts are located in the foothills of the Andes mountains between 850 and 1,520m in elevation. Argentinian winemaker Nicolas Catena Zapata was the first person to plant Malbec at such a high elevation of 1,500 metres, and is widely credited for elevating the status of Argentinian Malbec and the Mendoza region with this successful move.
Besides Malbec, there are many other grape varietals planted in the country. However, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the two other varietals that are most notable. Pedro Gimenez is the most widely planted white grape varietal in Argentina, but unfortunately it does not get much exposure internationally.