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Mendoza is the largest wine region in Argentina. Fine Malbec, Chardonnay, Torrontes, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Tempranillo all thrive in this spectacular region. The vineyards are planted at very high altitude and in sun drenched, desert conditions that often require irrigation. The steep and rocky Andes Mountains run along the eastern side of the region, sheltering it from rain. Under the Argentinian GI system (Geographical Indication), Mendoza is recognised as a ‘province’ that has five ‘divisions’ (sub regions) that each contain a number of ‘departments’. The five divisions are; Northern, Eastern, Central, Uco Valley and Southern. Within the division of Central Mendoza, the Lujan de Cuyo ‘department’ is known for producing very fine Malbec that has soft, round tannins. The Uco Valley has cool nights and is known for producing high quality Chardonnay, Torrontes, Sauvignon Blanc, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.