Argentina is the world's 5th largest producer of wine. 80% of Argentina's wine comes from Mendoza, South America's largest wine producing region.
A wide range of varietals grow well under the sunny Argentine skies. The most important wine varieties are (Reds) Malbec, Bonarda, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah; and (Whites) Torrontes, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc.
Australia is ranked as the world’s 7th largest wine producer, and the finest Australian wines are among the best in the world - a judgment that is consistently reinforced at international wine shows.
Australia is now the number 4 wine exporting country in the world and the number 16 wine drinking nation. Their wines are being sold in over 100 countries and can be found in the finest restaurants the world over. The UK is now importing more wine from Australia than it does from France!
The wine-growing area of Chile stretches 600 miles north of Santiago and 600 miles south of the capital. Total vineyard area in the country is around 126,000 hectares with the red/white varieties split at 73% to 27%.
Cabernet Sauvignon dominates Chile's vineyards, accounting for almost one-third of all varieties grown. Sauvignon Blanc is a distant second, followed closely by Merlot, Chardonnay and Carmenere. With an average width of just 177km (the country is 4,300km in length), Chile's climate is heavily affected by The Andes to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. The country is framed by desert to the north and Antarctica to the south.
The Languedoc region, covering the Mediterranean coastal plain west of the Rhone, produces a lot of fairly ordinary red wine, much of it marketed as VDQS or Vin de Pays. Languedoc is the largest French wine producing area in terms of volume. There are seven Appellations controlées in the area, the best-known of which is Corbières, and possibly the best average quality of which is Fitou.
Thanks to the long hours of summer sun, grapes ripen well and quickly in this region, which means that Languedoc wines are rich and full bodied, and often have high alcohol content. The wines of Roussillon are very similar; this area being particularly noted for its fortified wines such as Banyuls.
Italy’s winemaking tradition is about 3,000 years old, dating back to the Etruscan civilization in west-central Italy. Both the Etruscans and Greek settlers spread the winemaking tradition throughout the Italian peninsula. Ancient Greeks referred to South Eastern Italy as Oenotria, which roughly translates as “the land of wine”.
According to the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV), in 2015 Italy overtook France to become the largest wine producer in the world, producing 48.9 million hectoliters of wine – equivalent to over 6.5 billion 750ml bottles of wine. This represents 18% of 2015 world-wide wine production.