Guki Cellars

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Chile

Chilean Wines
 
Chile has a long history of growing vines, dating back to the arrival of the Spanish conquerors in the 16th century. From Spain and most probably also from Peru a variety of Spanish grapes were brought into the country. Among them the Pais grape variety and which remained Chile's main grape for long. However starting with the 19th century French and in particular Bordeaux grape varieties were brought over and, over time, became more popular.
 
The Pais variety is still grown today but is used only for the production of cheap volume wines. Rich landowners brought in French know how by employing French oenologists and wine makers. Grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Carmenere, Malbec, and Semillon became quite common. When the phylloxera louse, at the end of the 19th century, devastated the French and European wine industry, the Chilean wine industry received an additional boost. As the Chilean vines were immune to the louse a number of French wine makers arrived in Chile to produce wines there.
 
Even today Chile remains one on the few regions of the world not affected by the phylloxera louse. Chilean wines were well received in Europe and exports and sales expanded until the beginning of the 2nd World War. Interrupted by the war the industry never recovered and even went into a decline for various political and economic reasons. It can be said that its revival is quite recent as most of the quality wines for which Chile is known today can trace the origin of their quality to the period after 1990 rather than before.
 
Chile stretches for 4720 Km from north to south. Its width varies between 356 and 64 km. It is located between the Andes mountain ranges and the sea. The vine growing area is located about midway and stretches for about 1300 km. Although located in the Northern Hemisphere the climate is similar to the one of California and Bordeaux. Rather dry and hot in the north it becomes cooler and wetter towards the south. All in all it can be said that Chile offers excellent climatic and soil conditions to grow vines of excellent quality. The recognition of the potential for excellent quality wines lead to greater investments which in turn increased the quantity and quality of the wines produced.
 
Chile regulated its wine industry in 1995 establishing four major wine regions; Coquimbo, Aconcagua, Central Valley and the Southern Region. Each region has several sub-regions. It also regulated certain other wine making aspects. The regulations, while appearing similar to the French AOP system are, however, more in line with the AVA system in the USA. There are no restrictions on the varieties wich can be grown regionally, nor do the regulations define any viticultural and  vinicultural aspects or techniques. However, similar to the European system a wine must contain at least 85 % of the varietal stated on the label and 85 % of the vintage and the region's grapes if so mentioned on the label.
 


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GUKI CELLARS Japan KK
231-0862 Yokohama,Naka-Ku,
Yamate-cho 155-7, Japan

Tel : 045-232-4499
Fax : 045-623-7906