Features of Argentina Wines
Argentina is the fifth largest wine producer in the world, and as in some aspects of Argentine cuisine, Argentine wine has its roots in Spain. During the Spanish colonization of America, grape cuttings were brought to Santiago del Estero in 1557, and the cultivation of grapes and wine production extended first to neighboring regions and then to other parts of the country.
Historically, Argentine winemakers have been more interested in quantity than quality in a country that consumes 90% of its wine (45 liters per year, or 12 US gallons per capita per year, according to 2006 figures). Until the early 1990s, Argentina produced more wine than any other country outside Europe, although most were considered non-exportable. However, the desire to increase exports has led to significant improvements in quality. Argentine wines began to be exported in the 1990s and are now growing in popularity, making them the largest wine exporter in South America. The devaluation of the Argentine peso in 2002 further boosted industry as production costs fell and tourism grew significantly, giving birth to a completely new concept of enotourism in Argentina.