The South American wine movement is rooted in a rich history connected to the colonization of South America by the Spanish, the movement of the Vitis Vinifera grapes through the continent, and the discovery of how the climate and topography favors the best flavors from some of the world's classic grapes.
In North America Mexico led the way with the first plantings occurring in 1521 (Currently producing fantastic wine in its key wine regions) and South America received V. Vinifera in Peru just ten years later. Unfortunately for the future of the wine market in South America, the economy, traditions, and preferences stood in the way of any significant growth within their marketplace.
Today exceptional wine is made in the many of the South American countries. Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Brazil are currently the standouts.
Essential Facts about S. America*:
The most successful appellations are adjoining the Mountains or the Coasts.
South America produces just over what the US produces in Wine.
The minor producers are Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Paraguay.
Argentina is one of the standouts in South America not only because of its size but because of the revolution it created in the wine industry surrounding it's representative red grape Malbec and its ever exotic and food friendly white, Torrontes.
*Essential Facts about Argentina:
Argentina's first plantings take place in 1551.
Argentina maintains a 5th position in total wine production worldwide.
Argentina's key grapes are: Red: Malbec | White: Torrontes as an emblematic favorite and Chardonnay
Mendoza is the largest and most important wine growing region in Argentina.
Mendoza produces 80% of Argentina’s wine.
The Andes mountains' altitude and the Medoza plaines create a unique set of climates which sets the grape flavor tipicity of the Argentine region.