The first vines in this South America In 1551, the Spanish Conqistador Don Francisco de Aguirre de Meneses (1507-1581) planted land in La Serena (Coquimbo), founded in 1543. Underneath it was off Spain originating Criolla Chica ( Listán Prieto ), which is referred to here as País or Negra Antigua (see Criolla ). A few years later, his son-in-law Juan Jufré de Loayza (1516-1578) was at Santiago in the area Maule Vines. It became cheaper mass wine generated and after Peru and Mexico shipped. The English buccaneer Francis Drake (1540-1596) hijacked a ship in 1578, the 1,770 wineskins from Chile to Peru. Chile became increasingly a competitor for European wines. Therefore, the Spanish royal family banned the planting of more vines in 1620 to protect Spain's wine trade with America. In 1830, the government built the Agricultural Pilot Station Quinta Normal. The French naturalist Claudio Gay (1800-1873) introduced European varieties. By 1850, there were already 70 different.
Bertrand Silvestre Ochagavia Echazareta brought in 1851 for the first time noble grape varieties from the Bordeaux, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot. Chile started to export wine again and at the Paris World Fair in 1889 there was even a Grand Prix for a Chilean wine. In 1938 were from the government prohibitive Measures decided. The creation of new vineyards was banned, the wine production limited to a maximum of 60 liters per citizen and the taxes on wine for the purpose of combating alcohol abuse drastically increased. This led to a stagnation of viticulture. The planting ban was lifted until 1974 again. As a result, there was a big boom in viticulture, which Miguel Torres Carbó (1909-1991), who in 1979 at Curicó the winery Miguel Torres founded, had the largest share. This led first in Chile stainless steel tanks and small Barriques on.
Beginning in 1985, large vineyards were created and European quality wine grape varieties were imported. Numerous joint ventures with Californian, French and German partners resulted in decisive quality improvements. In 2012, the vineyards total 206,000 hectares. Chile ranks 10th in the world ranking (see below) Wine production volumes ). But the wine grapes make up only about half, of which 12.55 million hectoliters of wine were pressed. The rest is used for the production of table grapes, as a base wine for the brandy Pisco and other products.
Due to the special geographical position of the extremely elongated country (west of the Pacific, east of the protective Andes), the phylloxera never get a foothold there. It is believed that by the traditional artificial irrigation (especially in the north, where hardly any rain falls) in the form of a flooding of the vineyards the few copies of this pest are destroyed again and...