All through the 1980s, Argentina’s wine industry produced vast quantities of (mostly bad) wine and sold it only to Argentineans. By the end of the 1990s, Argentina was an innovation success story—a pioneer in new methods of viticulture and a trailblazer for new varietals and blends. Exports grew from a few million dollars in 1990 to $480 million in 2004. Critics raved. The transformation happened in only one of two neighboring winemaking provinces, however. Although San Juan received…

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