Chile is the only country that looks like it sounds. 500 year ago, when parts of Bordeaux were still a swamp, the conquistadors introduced winemaking to the country we now call Chile for sacramental purposes. Chile’s geography means that no vineyard is more than 72 kilometres (45 miles) from the coast.  The climate is near perfect for winemaking, with prevailing winds from the Pacific Ocean and a long ripening season. The limitless water can make up any shortage of rainwater available for irrigation from the Andes. Apart from Cyprus, Chile is the only country never to have had Phylloxera, because it is surrounded by what is known as the “Cordon Sanitaire”. Protected on the West by the Pacific, on the east by the Andes, the wastes of Antarctica to the South and the Atacama Desert to the North on its border with Peru – Phylloxera hates sand. Flying wine makers and the introduction of new technology mean that Chile produces a wide range of excellent wines. Its flagship red is Carmenere, a historic Bordeaux variety.

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