The first attempts at viticulture were made in this South American country as early as 1541, when Spanish conquistadores planted vines at the mouth of the Rio de la Plata on the Atlantic coast. However, this remained unsuccessful. Argentinean viticulture really 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 Spanish variety 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.
Don Tiburcio Benegas (1844-1910), who founded the Trapiche vineyard in Godoy Cruz in 1883 and successfully experimented with European and Chilean vines, is considered the founder of Argentine viticulture. His father-in-law Don Eusebio Blanco had written the book "Las viñas y los vinos de Mendoza" in 1872 as the first fundamental work on Argentine viticulture. In 1853, the French agronomist Michel Aimé Pouget (1821-1875) was commissioned by Argentine President Domino Faustino Sarmiento (1811-1888) to introduce suitable vines. The Malbec (Cot) variety in particular proved suitable and today leads the field in terms of volume. In the first half of the 18th and towards the end of the 19th century, there were two major European immigration flows from Italy, Spain and France. These emigrants gave enormous positive impetus to viticulture. At the beginning of the 20th century, many hundreds of European vines were introduced to Mendoza by the oenologist Leopoldo Suárez Zapata (1882-1932). The wine-growing regions (dark green = Argentina):