History of wine in Chile

The path taken by our country to become one of the main global exporters of wine today began at almost the same time it was conquered by the Spanish. Chilean land, which boasts a privileged climate, became an exceptional place for growing the grape seeds brought over by the Europeans. During the middle of the 19th century, and thanks to the economic boom, businessmen looked to France as a model to be followed, and wealthy families traveled to Europe to explore wines and castles. Excited by the possibility to replicate these wines, they brought a selection of the finest “scions” back to Chile with them, just a few decades before the parasite of the great phylloxera plague obliterated entire vineyards in the Old World. In Chile, these scions grew on their “own root” and, not by design, turned into a very valuable genetic material for the future, especially because it made it possible for Carménère (an almost extinct variety) to be developed in secret for over a century among the Merlot varieties.

A significant moment in the history of Chilean wine occurred at the beginning of 1980, when the Spanish producer Miguel Torres arrived in the country and modernized wine production. He was the first to install stainless steel tanks and French oak barrels to transform the production processes. His example was followed by Chilean producers, which led to a wave of new plantations and the sustained growth of wine exports. Currently, enologists and viticulturists work together to observe the soil and stars so as to obtain the best fruit possible. Together they have also discovered new areas for cultivation, climbing high up into the Andes Mountains, searching for coolness in the Coastal Mountains, and even in the northernmost and southernmost regions of the country. They have just one goal in mind: to endow our wines with a one-of-a-kind seal of origin.

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