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The Argentina Region
Argentina is probably the most important winemaking region in South America, with Chile being a close second. The vines of Argentina are planted mostly around the Mendoza area, with other vineyards scattered to the north. While Argentina has had its monetary troubles in the past, they have never forgotten their love of wine: They are the fifth most wine drinking country in the world, with 51.6L/capita per year being drunk. Until recently, this local wine stayed within its borders.
It wasn’t until the late 1980s that wine producers began exporting their wine and boosting their quality to meet the demands of the world market. The most planted varieties are criolla and cereza, both pinkish grapes. These currently account for over half of all vines planted in Argentina. Malbec is another popular grape. Ugni Blanc and Chenin Blanc are two white grapes which are coming into fashion now. In addition, wineries are beginning to plant more well known grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay to meet export demand.
- The Mendoza region is the largest winemaking region in Argentina, with around 370,000 acres of vines. Malbec and Tempranillo grow very well here, as does Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
- The San Juan region has 113,000 acres of vines, but is not nearly as well known for its wines.