With a reputation rising steadily from the mid 1980’s, today Chile celebrates international status and prestige for world recognised fine-wines;Seña (2001) was awarded a staggering 98 Robert Parker Points and was amongst two Chilean wines to take first and second place in the Berlin Wine Tasting of 2004, where 36 international wine experts judged a blind tasting of icon wines. In the Tokyo Wine Tasting of 2006, Chilean wines won four of the top five ranking.
Chile has a rich history for a New World wine region, asthe Spanish conquistadors initially brought Vitisvinifera vines in the 16th Century. In the mid-19th century French fine-wine varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carménère and Franc were introduced.Impressively, today Chile isthe fifth largest exporter of wines in the world, and the seventh largest producer.
With the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Andes mountains to the east, Chile is an isolated country offering a unique wine-growing environment. Ranges of coastal mountains create a sheltered haven for wine growing that’s free from Phylloxera, affecting nearly every other part of the world. Chile is one of the only countries where vinifera vines can grow on their own native roots. The climate has been described as halfway between that of California and France.
Aconcagua Valley is one of Chile’s most prestigious wine growing regions, well known for its red grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. With a Mediterranean climate, and bathed in lush melt water from the Aconcagua mountain peaks, Aconcagua boasts an ideal terrain with soils of clay and sand to the east and rich granite and clay to the west.
Initially considered the ideal place to plant grapes, Maipo Valley lies between the coastal range and the Andes just south of Chile’s capital Santiago, and boasts some premium producers includingConcha y Toro, Santa Rica and Almaviva.
Some famous collaborations to create new international brands include Seña, Chile's first Icon wine and joint venture between Viña Errázurizand Robert Mondavi. Miguel A. Torres(Catalan winemaker) opened Miguel Torres Chile in 1979.Château Lafite Rothschild, collaborated with Los Vascos.Bruno Prats (owner of Château Cos d'Estournel) and Paul Pontallier(technical director of Chateau Margaux) opened the prestigious Domaine Paul Bruno. Château Mouton Rothschild collaborated with Concha y Toro Winery to produce the star Almaviva.
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