History of South American Wines
Grape vines of Chile and Argentina were planted by missionaries from Spain with the conquistadores in the mid-sixteenth century.
Vineyards were planted in 1551 and the first records of wine being produced in Chile are from 1555.
As the country’s population expanded, the wine production moved from the church to European plantation owners.
By the early 1800’s New World wines imported to the Old World began to affect the Spanish wineries.
In order to protect the wine industry in Spain and all across Mexico and South America, vineyards were uprooted and heavy taxes were placed on those remaining. This all but destroyed the wine industry in Mexico, but Chile and Argentina continued to produce wines commercially.
Primary Grape Varieties:
Reds: Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmenere, Tempranillo, Malbec
White: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Torrontes