Mendoza is by far the largest wine region in Argentina, responsible for about 70% of the country's wine production. Here, the regions of Lujan de Cuyo, Maipu and the Uco Valley are home to some of the biggest names in Argentinean wine. It is located on a high-altitude plateau at the edge of the Andes Mountains, which cast a rain shadow and make the region extraordinarily dry. Irrigation is aided by the many rivers that run down the Andes and these are diverted by a series of trenches that flood the vineyards with water at selected intervals.
The first vines were planted by Jesuit priests in the mid-16th Century, borrowing agricultural techniques from the Incas and Huarpes, who had occupied the land before them. Malbec was introduced in 1868 by French agricultural engineer Michel Pouget, and today the region is a reference for this grape, producing red wines of great concentration and intensity.
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