Argentina

Wine production in Argentina dates back to the 16th century; today it is the fifth largest wine producing country in the world. The main region for quality wine is Mendoza in the foothills of the Andes. Here, the air is fresh and clean, and at 4,900 feet elevation, the vineyards are among the highest in the world. In general, the vineyards are dry-especially in the summer- and due to the country's desert climate, most require flood irrigation sourced directly from the Andes's Mountains snow melt. Also, unlike the U.S. and most of Europe, Argentina's vines are un-grafted, i.e. they are still planted on their original rootstocks. The main grapes today are Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah for the reds, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Torrontés (an indigenous varietal) for the whites.