The history of Argentina Viticulture dates back to the era of colonization , as the cultivation of the vine was closely associated with the agricultural practices of the Spanish colonists .
The first species were introduced from Argentina in 1551 , spreading from the center , west and northwest. Its cultivation was promoted by the consumption of wine and raisins, as caloric food for the soldiers , and also because Catholic priests missionaries implanted vineyards , in order to have the wine, which indispensably required to celebrate Mass .
In Mendoza, the first vineyards between 1569 and 1589 were introduced , which led , over time, the development of a large industry that transformed the aridity of this area, the large green oasis. Blessed with ideal climatic and soil conditions , the wine showed a large and rapid development , mainly in the Andean provinces .
In the late nineteenth century began to be used in larger scale wooden barrels and since 1853 the country’s largest wine region underwent a radical transformation , because of the constitutional organization , the creation of the Quinta Normal de Agricultura in Mendoza , which was the first School of Agriculture of Argentina and the arrival of the railroad. The issuance of the water and land laws allowed the growth of colonization, with important contribution of European immigrants who knew very well the wine growing techniques and are suitable for fine wine varieties, which led to innovations in oenological practices used in the hold until then.
Argentina is a country that currently has a cultivated with vines of 223,034 ha, representing 2.81% of the world’s surface. Although initially their development was sustained and the domestic market had a significant demand , between 1982 and 1992 there was a major eradication vineyards accounted for 36 % of the existing area at the time.
Since 1992 a process of recovery began , introducing varieties of high quality winemaking . But a decline in per capita consumption from 80 liters in the 70 ‘ to less than 29,23 l in 2006 was also observed .
However, Argentina has remained a major consumer of wine, ranking seventh in the world and fifth as wine producer after Italy, France, Spain and the United States.
The reduction in domestic market due to the decline in consumption , has led to a sharp increase in exports of wine , which has been accompanied by an improvement in the technology used. This has made over the past 10 years, Argentina has joined wine exporting countries .
All these changes in the composition , quality and range of wines , has increased business opportunities , supported by the recognition of the qualitative characteristics of Argentine wines abroad , which are included in price ranges that allow them to compete in markets traditionally wine consumers from other producing regions. Also the increase in exports has offset the decline in domestic consumption of wine and has been instrumental in the development of the industry, which has a significant positive shift in recent years incentive.