Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Did You Know?... About the Wines of Chile

Like northern California, Chile relies on mountains to funnel sea breezes to cool its vineyards that otherwise might be too warm. Warm, sunny days tempered by cool evenings, with a long growing period means that a wide range of grapes thrive here.

Among red grapes, Chile grows most of the more popular varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Malbec. Most notably though, they also grow Carmenere, a European varietal that disappeared from the Old World, only to be found among Merlot vines in Chile a century ago.

For white grapes, the country focuses on Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Vintners are starting to explore other whites as well, creating fragrant and vibrant Gewurztraminer and Viognier, and bracingly crisp Rieslings.

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