South American wines are proudly amongst the most well appreciated and consumed wines of the world. This is due to the quality provided to the grapes by a mostly continental semi-desert with dramatic diurnal shift due to proximity to Andes mountains. Argentina has the highest commercial vineyards which benefits from the protection of the Andes and the melted snow that irrigates the area.
South American wines have intense color and aromas with natural acidity. Torrontes, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tannat, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay. Chile is a thin and long country with northern desert and ice fields of Patagonia in the south, between the Andes mountains and Pacific Ocean. As the rain is restricted to winter months and the sharp day-night temperature variation makes ripening season last longer, the climate is ideal for Cabernet Sauvignon (most planted), Merlot, Carmenere, some Syrah, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Mourvedre. The whites are mainly Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Muscat of Alexandria (for Pisco). Also some Viognier, Riesling, Gewurztraminer