Argentina is South America's awakening giant and has such vast amounts of land available for planting that it could become the main player. It is the largest wine-producing region on the continent, and has the most potential. Its best-known wine making facilities are relatively modern, but technology traditionally has been aimed at mass production.
The first vineyards were established at the foot of the Andes in the middle of the 16th Century in the Mendoza Region. Due to the high altitude and low humidity of the main wine producing regions, Argentine vineyards rarely face the problems of insects, fungi, molds and other diseases that affect grapes in other countries. This permits cultivating with little or no pesticides, allowing even organic wines to be easily produced.
Mendoza, Argentina's main growing region lies on the same latitude as Chile's best wine growing regions and produces around 70% of Argentina's wines. San Juan is the country's second largest wine growing region, but due to the hotter climate produces mediocre quality wines. Rio Negro, ideally suited for growing good quality white varieties and base wines for sparkling wines, accounts for only 5% of the country's production.
Exports have increased dramatically. However, traditionally the aim for production has been a fairly high quantity of its wine in bulk and Argentineans consume 90% of the wine it produces. Purchasers of Argentinean wine exports are usually responsible for bottling the wines, which can result in many of the same wines being sold under different labels depending on the importing country.
|Geographic Coordinates:||34° 00’ S, 64° 00’ W|
|Population (2006 est.):||39,921,833|
|Per Capita GPD (2005 est.):||$13,100|
|Currency:||Argentine peso (ARS)|
|Bordering Countries:||Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay|
|Total Wine Consumption (2001):||12,036,000 hectoliters|
|Per Capita Wine Consumption (2001):||32.57 liters per capita|
|Total Wine Production (2001):||15,835,000 hectoliters|
|Total Vineyard Acreage (2001):||506,000 acres|
|Prevalent Grape Varieties:||Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Chardonnay, Merlot. Torrontés|
|Cheers in Spanish:||Salud!|