Argentina's vineyard region is tucked into the eastern foothills of the Andes, roughly parallel with Santiago, Chile, and an overnight bus ride from Buenos Aires.
Hot and arid, the main winegrowing province of Mendoza feeds its abundant crops with snowmelt from the Andes. Rather than planting on hillside vineyards, growers have traditionally planted on flatlands to make the best use of scarce water.
Most of the vineyards were originally planted by Spanish and Italian immigrants late in the 19th century, and many of the wineries date to that era.
The traditional, simple, soft reds are increasingly joined by fruity, more popular styles that please international palates thanks to the local and foreign investment that is updating grapegrowing and winemaking techniques.