Weekly wine defined: Mendoza

Mary writes:

This is the largest wine-producing region in Argentina. It runs along the foothills of the Andes, west of Buenos Aires and not far from the Chilean border.

Mendoza translates to “pebbly soil” and that’s pretty much what winemakers need to produce the millions of gallons of good-quality wine that comes out of this region.

The indigenous grapes, Criolla Grande and Cereza which were a part of that Spanish wine invasion of the 16th century, account for more than a quarter of all plantings in Argentina. For the most part, these grapes which are derived from the Mission grape, are packaged in boxes and hardly ever exported.

What the Argentinians do export is Malbec and tons of it.  Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo and Chardonnay are also grown in this region.