Argentina will soon declare wine “a national drink” given its growing quality production and long rooted consumption dating back to the time of the colony several centuries ago.
“President Cristina Kirchner will declare this year, year of Argentina’s bicentenary, that wine is a national drink. This because of our long tradition with this production and because several provincial governors have been requesting it on behalf of one of the leading industries in several of those areas”, said Agriculture, Livestock, Food and Fisheries minister Julian Dominguez.
Argentina is also the “New World” (outside Europe) second producer of wine, second only to the United States. According to the International organization of vine and wine, US production in 2009 was 20.6 million hectolitres; Argentina, 13.9 million; Australia, 11.7 million; South Africa, 9.9 million and Chile, 8.8 million hectolitres.
The wine industry in Argentina is going through a boom period having incorporated in the last two decades to international standards over 240 wineries, mostly along the Andean provinces of Mendoza and San Juan.
Bottled quality wine consumption and exports have soared, Argentina has also developed its own brand of special grapes with international reputation such as Malbec, and so has the so called “winery tourism”, basically tours of the areas where the industry has been updating with the spectacular Andes mountains in the background.