Wine grapes arrived in the 1500s with the Spanish missionaries who needed wine to celebrate the Catholic mass.
The 16th century residents of the burgeoning capital city of Santiago—mostly sons and daughters of the earliest Spanish immigrants—clamored for more wine to quench their thirst and whet their appetites as well as to satisfy their spiritual needs.
With time improvements in maritime transportation made cross-Atlantic travel possible for the upper classes. Chile, freshly emancipated from Spain in 1810, yearned for knowledge of its wider European roots, and members of the country’s wealthy families embarked upon intercontinental pilgrimages that would profoundly change Chilean life, culture, and wine forever. France was a favorite destination, and soon French customs, from food to clothing to architecture and fine wine consumption, flourished in Santiago. It did not take long for the first new French-style wineries to appear on the outskirts of the city.
By the mid-1800s, interest in European-style fine wine production had caught on. Well-heeled families with fortunes from mining and early industry built extraordinary mansions beyond the city limits and surrounded them with vineyards and European style gardens.
Varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Carménère, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Semillón, and Riesling produced noble wines that quickly gained popularity and replaced the País grape, which was relegated to the country’s winemaking extremes, where it is still used today for rustic wines for local consumption.
For national partners, we urge you to contact us to find out the specific details of any wines you are considering, whether it is pricing, availability, vintages or packaging options, we will always be there for you and be more than happy to assist you.