WINE: Malbec is king in Argentina

Some of the most picturesque vineyard photos usually include snapshots of Argentina with the Andes looming in the background.
This area just east of the mountains is home to some of the highest altitude vineyards in the world. It is also one of the driest, with usually less than 10 inches of rain a year.

There is ample sunshine to ripen grapes in the region.
Grape growing has been important in the region since a flood of European immigrants appeared in the early 1800s. It really took off following the development of a railroad to Mendoza, the premier wine region. This region continues today to be the source of most of the wine produced in Argentina.
Until the early 1990s, the majority of the wine produced was simple bulk type, but with the entry into the world wine market, and particularly the United States, one grape type has put Argentina on the map — malbec.
This grape caught the attention of a growing number of wine consumers as a red wine with a depth of flavor at a reasonable price. While cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay grapes are starting to get critical attention, it is still malbec that sets the tone for Argentine wines.

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