With geographic barriers like the Atacama Desert to the north, the Andes Mountains to the east, the Patagonian ice fields to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west, Chile a veritable agricultural island. Together they help maintain healthy conditions and protect vineyards against pests and disease. Chile is blessed with ideal climatic conditions for grape growing, with hot summers, cool nights, moderate rainfall and coastal breezes. Most grape varieties flourish here but Cabernet, Syrah and Carmenère excel. Argentina is another source of fantastic value wines, especially known for its rich, intense Malbecs grown high in the Andean foothills in and around Mendoza. Here the varied terroir crus or 'parcela' are making world class reds, whilst cool sites to the south in Patagonia, produce some thrilling table wines out of Pinot, Chardonnay and Riesling.