The stunning tree lined city of Mendoza is only 50 minutes by air from the Chilean capital Santiago however the highest ridge of the Andes lies in between (a mere 6,000 metres a.s.l)! Altitudes of vineyards in Mendoza can reach up to 1,400 above sea level and temperatures at night can regularly be low enough to produce well-flavoured, well-structured, deeply coloured wines. The dry mountain air means pests and diseases don’t bother the vines. However, irrigation can present a problem. Imaginatively, snowmelt from the Andes is channeled into the city and surrounding vineyards through cement ditches known locally as ‘Asequias’. Mendoza on average has an annual 220 mm of rainfall and also endures an intensely dry hot wind from the mountain slopes known locally as the ‘Zondawind’. Mendoza is famed for delivering 300 days of sunshine every year.