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Argentina is the largest wine producer in South America, best known for its versions of classic red wines including Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.

Argentine wines are considered New World wines, but actually have a rich history dating back more than 400 years. Winemaking practices were spread throughout Argentina – much as they would be later, in California – by Spanish missionaries planting vines to ensure a supply of sacramental wines. Though the growing conditions around the Andes Mountains are high and dry, these settlers used and improved upon the natives' agricultural practice, which channeled melting snow and ice from the Andean peaks to irrigate the vineyards.

Once a water supply is established, the valleys in the foothills of the Andes provide ideal conditions for growing vines, thanks to the warm, sunny days and chilly nights.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Argentine wine industry was renewed by an influx of Italian and Spanish immigrants who brought new vines and a wealth of winemaking experience to South America. European grape varieties flourished there, and one in particular – Malbec, native to southwest France – would become Argentina’s signature red grape.

Argentine Malbec’s intense color, aromas of berry fruit, plums and honey plus its ability to ripen to perfection create wines of a velvety texture and long, lingering flavors. When oak-aged in barrels, the extra dimensions of vanilla and soft tannin give the wines great structure. Malbec is a perfect partner for beef, or even chocolate and red berry fruit desserts.

Torrontés, Argentina’s celebrated white grape, produces uniquely aromatic and bright wine, a fine pairing for seafood and spicy dishes.

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