Vineyards came to Argentina, as well as to the all New Spain, onboard Spanish colonizadors’ ships. The religious orders, that needed mass wine, were the first to grow grapes in colonial times. However, it was not until the great 19th century immigration that wine production started to expand.
In 1853, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, governor of Cuyo and, later, president of the Argentine Republic, hired a French specialist –Nichel Aimé Pouget- to develop vineyard growing. He later imported the vineyards and methods used in his own country to Mendoza and set up a modern industry. Mendoza has not been chosen randomly: its topography, geology and weather make it the ideal place for this endeavor. The 19th century immigration coming mainly from Italy, Spain and France has caused the Argentine vineyards to develop and improve as well as incorporate new grape varieties. Nevertheless, it was not until 1980 that Argentina has evolved to produce quality wines instead of massively consumed table wines.