Not all Argentinian wine comes from Mendoza. Little-known San Juan province has wines of equal quality, plus outdoor adventure, grand canyons and millions of years of pre-history
Agustín’s face is a picture of pride and glee as he points to the trophy his vineyard won in 2012 for the best malbec in the world. “We are only a little vineyard, from little San Juan, so we went down there [to a wine contest in Mendoza] just to make up the numbers,” he grins, and then thumbs his nose melodramatically at the opposition. “But we stuck it to all those big shots from France and Italy and Mendoza!”
The last word is spat out like a mouthful of corked wine. To the chagrin of the country’s other wine regions, Mendoza has marketed itself so successfully in recent decades and become so synonymous with Argentinian wine that “they pretend they invented malbec down there”.