When it comes to wine making regions, there are several places that automatically stand out. France, for instance, is pretty much seen to be the birthplace of the modern wine industry and has been producing some of the most luxury brands and types (e.g. Champagne) for decades, if not centuries. However, the world of wine is changing. Yes drinkers still love their European vintages – good wine truly never goes out of style, but as the world has changed, other, non-European countries and regions, have come into the mix. Today, there are several places, such as Australia and California, which have developed a sterling reputation for wine production and we at the Ideal Wine Company thought we’d take this opportunity to explore one of the best.
Welcome to Argentina, second largest nation on the South American continent and home to international icon Eva Peron. The Spanish speaking nation has seen a turbulent time of it over the course of the 20th Century as a culture of instable politics and a penchant for military dictatorship has seen the fabric of Argentine society undergo a complete transformation. However, throughout all of this, the Argentine wine industry has thrived to become the fifth largest in the world.
Wine wasn’t actually a part of daily life for the inhabitants of the land that would one day come to be known as Argentina until the Spanish conquest in the 16th Century, when colonisers brought over vine cuttings to grow the plant for themselves in this new land. Beginning in the Santiago del Estero, wine production became popular and spread to other areas of the country, so that by the time the 20th Century rolled around, it was very much an established tradition, with Argentine Wine coming to establish a worldwide reputation by the 21st Century.
A country that consumes 90% of the wine it produces, Argentina actually produces more wine than any other country outside Europe and has several established wine regions known for producing top quality drink (Argentine wine is known for prioritising quality over quantity) including the provinces of Mendoza (which produces more than 60% of Argentine Wine), San Juan, La Rioja and more recently Southern Buenos Aires.
As a result there are many types of Argentine wine that have entered the wine connoisseur’s vaults. One of the most popular is the Malbec, originally brought over by the French and a mainstay of the Mendoza region. Producing hearty reds often used in the French Bordeaux wine blend, Malbec is a red that will fulfil any wine drinkers thirst for a good glass. Other popular grapes include the Syrah and Douce Noir from the San Juan Region which both make appetising red wines.
Argentina is one of the world’s fastest growing wine producers and the one to watch in the coming decades. We can only imagine that it’ll keep going from strength to strength.