Argentina has eight principal wine regions, but Mendoza dominates, producing over 70% of Argentina’s wines. The climate is continental, with large temperature swings between day and night, and four full seasons offering hot summers and cold winters. Elevation is also a key factor influencing wine quality. White varieties of importance are Chardonnay and Torrontés, while key red varieties include Cabernet and Malbec.
The Central Valley is home to Chile’s best-known wines and produces 90% of its exports, but the Casablanca region is gaining increasing attention. Among the sub-regions of the Central Valley you’ll find Maule, Maipo, Rapel and Curicó, all of which produce a range of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc as well as Cabernet, Merlot and Carménère. Casablanca is a cool district that is producing Chardonnay and a promising Pinot Noir. The Carménère grape makes a medium-bodied, soft, round wine with low acids.