Join us tomorrow as Chris from OZ Wine Co. pours South American wines that will blow your mind, and taste buds!
South America has been making wine since the 1500’s when Franciscan monks planted vines for religious purposes from Peru down to Argentina, but to quote Wine Folly, ‘back then, the wine was crap’ until the 1800’s when it became a serious contender when locals began experimenting with grape varieties. More recent economic boom and international curiosity has made Argentina and Chile sought after wine regions.
Mendoza (pictured above) is a gorgeous semi-arid desert that runs on an indigenous irrigation system that was built to channel Andean snow melt into the city and surrounding farmland. They get a whopping 300 days of sunshine a year! While Chile rains occasionally it is mostly very dry and hot; it’s actually the Humboldt Current that moderates hot temperatures and helps vines thrive in the Mediterranean climate. From North to South are the three wine regions where tomorrow’s Chilean wines hail from: Casablanca Valley, Maule Valley, and Itata. Casablanca and Maule are both in central Chile and benefit from proximity to the capital, Santiago. Recent wine tourism has given the regions a boost! Meanwhile, Itata is further South and while historically a significant wine producing region was almost forgotten because it was difficult to transport products and people! Luckily, in the past several decades interest in Itata has rejuvenated.
Read more about Friday's Argentine and Chilean line-up here!