The Conquistadors also introduced vines into Argentina in the sixteenth century. The resulting wines were used by Spanish Jesuits for both religious and medicinal purposes.
The industry only acquired its present form in the nineteenth century as a result of a flood of European immigrants who brought better vines with them such as Cabemet, Pinot Noir, Malbec, Syrah, Barbera, and Sangiovese for red wines and Chenin, Riesling, and Torrontés for whites.
The first independent wine houses were established by German, Italian, Spanish, and French immigrants. Argentina's vineyards lie at the foot of the Andes, far removed from the pollution of industrial cities. The climate is continental, being very dry and very hot, verging on desert.
Irrigation with water from pure mountain streams has created the ideal conditions for wine-growing.