For so long, Malbec has been virtually synonymous with Argentine wine, which is hardly surprising given how much of it is made - and how much of it is also really excellent, not to mention its natural affinity for South American style red meat. But there is more to explore within Argentine red wine - we strongly recommend you try a robust yet succulent Tannat, a fine, fragrant Cabernet Franc or a juicy Bonarda. Or how about an elegant Patagonian Pinot Noir?
Mendoza remains Argentina's most important wine producing area. It is an oasis in a desert of the foothills of the Andes, fed by a series of water channels from the Mendoza river, which carries snowmelt from the Andes. However, Mendoza is now being given a run for its money by the extraordinarily high-altitude Salta region in the extreme north west of the country, with vineyards rising from 1,700 metres to 2,300 metres altitude. The grapey, floral Torrontes grape might not be everyone's cup of tea, but in Salta the altitude lends it a bracing herb-tinged tang that makes it a definite must-try (at least once). 2,000 kilometres to the south, Patagonia's cool continental climate is proving capable of producing European-style Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.