Interesting Argentine Wine Fact: Immigration in 1900

Among other things, Argentina is known for immigration and wine. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, immigration from Europe was strongly encouraged (with subsidized housing and some job training for new arrivals to the port of Buenos Aires). The records of these waves of immigrants are contained in government archives, many of which have been uploaded to the web such as this excellent edition of the Memoria de la Dirección de Inmigración (the Annual Report of Immigration Services) for 1900.

Argentina is the world's fifth largest wine producer. Only France, Italy, Spain, and the U.S. top its numbers. And while this is impressive, what's even more impressive is that this industry was kick-started by European immigrants at the beginning of the last century and that these immigrants must have shown some gumption in thinking that they could make it in wine. In 1900, there were 23,289 agricultural laborers who immigrated to Argentina. That year, there were 4 oenologists. And this was a good year. Other years, there were even fewer. This means that many of the wineries established in the early decades of the 20th century were begun by farmers who knew how to coax life out of the soil, but who had to trial-and-error their way through barrels.

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