Argentina has built a formidable presence in many export markets abroad, especially the U.S.
Argentina is the fifth largest wine producing country in the world, with 15.8 million hectoliters produced from 188,000 hectares of vines. Wine production has a long history, and domestic demand is strong. Because there was little need to export, the style of Argentinian wine for many years remained quite rustic. Now with renewed interest in the country, this is beginning to change.
The focus on Malbec has also served to provide a point of difference to consumers, and there are other local specialties, including the white Torrontes, and the red Bonarda. These grapes are transplants from Portugal and northern Italy, respectively.
However, in spite of these differences and renewed foreign investment and the concurrent surge in quality, the country is now beginning to produce truly exciting wines, such as Terrazas and the "New World Grand Cru" Cheval des Andes.
Most of wineries have focused production around Mendoza, the main center of wine production in Argentina. Two other regions that have been building a reputation for quality are Cafayate, about 500 miles north of Mendoza, and Rio Negro, near Patagonia. Winemakers are doing very interesting wines in these remote, cool climate areas.
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