The Chilean coastline continues for almost 3000 miles up the western side of South America. The major winemaking areas are along a band almost 1000 miles long, with the major production around the capital city of Santiago.
Winemaking in Chile dates back to the 1500s when the conquering Spanish led
by Cortez brought vinifera vines to the country. In the early 1800s a French monk, Claudio Gay, imported vinifera vines from Bordeaux and set a nursery.These vines not only became the basis for a lot of Chilean wine production, but cuttings were also sent back to france to help with post-phylloxera planting. Today, Chile is the one of the only winemaking countries to be free of Phylloxera. The Andes, Pacific Ocean, and altitude have helped to isolate Chile and create a unique environment where vines are grown on their original rootstocks. Chile has developed a reputation for producing excellent value wines produced from the Bordeaux varieties and the ex-Bordeaux grape Carmenère.
Recent investments from Bordeaux Chateaux, Italian powerhouses, and Spanish giants have elevated the winemaking to new heights.
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