VIII. WINES AROUND THE WORLD
This is a hopeless cause for a Wine FAQ, since you can't win in what you include and don't include. I've gotten a lot of correspondence about the "bias" of the FAQ towards California. Any such partiality is unintentional and is a result of the fact that I know more about California and can use references to California for my examples.
And France! Since there are hundreds (thousands?) of books about French wine, it is absurd to try to recreate that information in this FAQ.
On the other hand, there are other areas of the world that have thriving wine industries. Some have lots of books written about them, and perhaps some don't. So I'm going to use this space to refer to wine growing areas that (to my limited, inexpert knowledge) have had less attention. All this material has been sent to me from various correspondents and it is important for me to note that I have not verified this material and can't even say that the information has been sent to me from wine growers or promoters who might wish to use this FAQ as a means of advertising. I've tried to eliminate any of that, but who knows!
For those areas which are missing, I'm open to anyone who wants to send me more. Thanks to those who already have.
Although Argentina is the fifth worldwide wine producer, only a little amount of it is considered high quality. In contrast with Chile, wine producers have historically gone for volume over quality, though from the 1970's one this has begun to change. Some red wines have now been noted for their quality.
Wine is grown in Argentina all along the Andes Mountains, which acts as a border between Chile and Argentina. Production is concentrated in the warmer northerly provinces of Mendoza, San Juan, La Rioja, Salta and the cooler southerly provinces of Rio Negro and Neuquen.
Many varieties ("cepages") are grown. Predominant red grapes include Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Italian varieties, including Barbera, introduced by Italian monks in the 1700's. Common white grapes include Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc, as well as the local variety of "Torrontes" which is similar to Gewurztraminer.