Chilean Wine – A Brief History

Chilean Wine pic

Chilean Wine

For more than 13 years, Robb LaKritz has served as managing partner of LaKritz Adler Development in Washington, DC. In his free time, Robb LaKritz enjoys skiing, playing tennis, and gardening. He’s also a wine collector who favors wines from France, Italy, and Chile.

The history of Chilean wine dates back to the mid-16th Century when Spanish religious leaders planted the first vineyards to supply wine for Catholic mass. The Spanish quickly discovered that Chile had an excellent climate for growing grapes, and the practice soon spread throughout the country. Not long after Chile gained independence from the Spanish in the early 1800s, the country was already home to more than 19 million grape vines.

By the midpoint of the 19th Century, Chilean winemakers were producing several varieties of wine and exporting their products throughout European markets. Highly regarded, early Chilean wines were recognized at fairs and competitions and eventually took home the Paris Grand Prix award in the latter part of the 1800s.

Although the wine industry in Chile stagnated during the 20th century, it eventually recovered and regained its spot among the world’s finest wine producers. Today, Chile exports wine to more than 90 countries and is known around the globe for offering both quality and value.


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