Chilean wine is often thought of as being the little sister to Argentine wine, but if any of you have tried any, you will know this is not true and it is now the 9th largest producer of wine!
Since the Spanish colonisation in the 16th century, Chilean wine has been based on quality, usually only produced in small quantities, and with its explosion in popularity in the 1990's, the number of wineries producing Chilean Wine has now grown from just 12 in 1995, to over 80 nowadays.
Near perfect conditions give this region its consistent quality and many vintages are produced with little variation, due to the vineyards proximity to both sea and mountains, with natural irrigation coming from the melting snowcaps of the Andes.
Lying at 32 - 38 degrees South, the region is similar in positioning to Spain in the Northern Hemisphere, thus enjoying a more mediterranean climate, conducive to the growing of European varietals such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere.
Currently, only 20 grape varieties are grown to prodce Chilean Wine, but many wineries are experimenting with some other interesting types, so watch this space for some interesting additions over time!