In Argentina, viniculture is practised since the 16th century, the time of the Spanish Conquistadores. Spanish Missionaries, who entered the country, needed communion wine for their new churches, which is why they started growing vines. They brought new cultivation methods and different grapes from Spain, which lasted for about 200 years.
In the end of the 19th century, during the immigration of people from Italy and Spain, popular grapes were brought into the country, like Spätburgunder, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. Viniculture boomed because everyone drank wine, and Argentina experienced an economic upturn. But because of the military regime and an economic crisis, the wine marked collapsed, and only with the re-democratization, economic reforms and new investments, growing wine became successful again. However, vintners were forced to sell their wine abroad, because of the low demand.
There are no legal requirements in Argentina, neither concerning output, nor regarding vinification. In general, wines are distinguished between table and quality wines.
Today, Argentina belongs to the biggest wine growing countries in the world, with a cultivation area of more than 220,000 hectares. But because of the subtropical climate, growing wine is only possible in the western areas on the foot of the Andes. The climate there is also hot in general, but during the nights the temperatures are low.
About 80 percent of the produced wines are reds of the mainly used grape Malbec. Other red kinds are Bonarda, Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Barbera, Syrah, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon.
White vines are grown on a maximum height of 2,000 metres in Argentina, namely the traditional grape Torrontés. Its wines own a full-flavoured aroma with much individual quality. Other whites are Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier.