A vine romance

Katie Wood is intoxicated by mountainous Mendoza, underexplored heart of the Argentinian wine industry – and says now is a great time to sup with the locals

There are three good reasons to go to Argentina this year. First, the cost of living will bring a smile to even the most-budget conscious traveller’s face. Second, the people are welcoming. Third, despite the enormous beauty of the country, international tourism is still in its infancy. Add in a good climate and fantastic food and wine, and you’ll realise that this is a great place to visit.

It was to learn more about wine tourism that I recently travelled to Mendoza – the wine-growing heart of Argentina. With over 180,000 acres under cultivation, producing 1.3 million tonnes of grapes, this is the home of familiar brands including Argento, Norton and Santa Julia – they all come from Mendoza’s 16 wine-producing departments. No surprise here, perhaps: the region is roughly the same distance from the Equator as the premier grape-growing regions of France, Italy and California.

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