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In 1541, Spanish conquistadores planted vines at the mouth of the Rio de la Plata on the Atlantic coast, but to no avail. Argentinean viticulture began with the production of fair wine. The citizens of the northern city of Santiago del Estero in the province of the same name built a church and looked for a priest. The Jesuit priest Cedrón, who had come from Spain with the Conquistadores, travelled from the other side of the Andes from Chile and brought with him as a gift cotton seeds, wheat, barley and some European grape varieties, including the historically important Listán Prieto, known here as Criolla Chica, Uva Negra or Uva Negra Vino (see also under Criolla). These vines were planted in the three provinces of La Rioja, Mendoza and San Juan from 1556 onwards. There, by the end of the 16th century, some commercial viticulture had already developed.

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Sigi Hiss
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