Argentina is a major wine-growing nation that ranks among the top 10 wine-producing countries in the world. The wine-growing areas of the country extend from north to south over a stately 1750 km in the foothills of the Andes. The most famous and important region is Mendoza, where far more than half of the Argentine vineyards are located. Argentina's figurehead is undoubtedly the grape variety Malbec, which is the most planted variety of the country. Originating from the southwest of France, this vine grows very well in the dry and warm climate of Argentina and produces dark-colored wines with power and spice; in addition, they can be very long-lived. For high-quality red wines also Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Tempranillo play an important role.