The Argentine wine industry is the fifth largest producer of wine in the world. Argentine wine, as with some aspects of Argentine cuisine, has its roots in Spain. During the Spanish colonization of the Americas, vine cuttings were brought to Santiago del Estero in 1557, and the cultivation of the grape and wine production stretched first to neighboring regions, and then to other parts of the country.
Chile has a long viticultural history for a New World wine region dating to the 16th century when the Spanish conquistadors brought Vitis vinifera vines with them as they colonized the region. In the mid-19th century, French wine varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmenère and Franc were introduced. In the early 1980s, a renaissance began with the introduction of stainless steel fermentation tanks and the use of oak barrels for aging. The number of wineries has grown from 12 in 1995 to over 70 in 2005. Reasons for this sudden expansion vary in significancy, but all are essential to understanding Chilean wine culture. The largest factor, and arguably most prominent, relates to the large amount of French families immigrating to Chile during the late 20th century.
France’s rich history of grape farming stretches back to Roman times, but the country is also the birthplace of modern winemaking and remains one of the world’s largest producers — so it’s no wonder that when we think of France, rolling hills and lush vineyards spring to mind as quickly as does the Eiffel Tower.
Wine is woven into the fabric of daily life in Italy, and vines can be found in nearly every part of the countryside, from the slopes of the Alps to the rolling hills of Tuscany and on down to the Mediterranean climate of Sicily.
New Zealand wine is largely produced in ten major wine growing regions spanning latitudes 36° to 45° South and extending 1,600 kilometres (990 mi). They are, from north to south Northland, Auckland, Waikato/Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Wellington, Nelson, Marlborough, Canterbury/Waipara and Central Otago.
Famous for the fortified dessert wine Port, this country is also home to the “green wine” Vinho Verde and an increasingly interesting (and affordable) array of red table wines. Portuguese wineries are building on a rich history — it might just be that Portugal has been a wine-growing nation since the time of the Phoenicians.
South African wine has a history dating back to 1659 with Constantia, a vineyard near Cape Town, being considered one of the greatest wines in the world. Access to international markets has unleashed a burst of new energy and new investment. Production is concentrated around Cape Town, with major vineyard and production centres at Paarl, Stellenbosch and Worcester.