Go to a supermarket in Chile and find the wine section. It's a funny thing to see a grocery store with more varieties of wine than toothpaste, cereals or even produce. My father once said he had a coworker who used to bring a bottle to work in his briefcase for lunch. Alcoholic? No. Chilean. I guess it's just a matter of proximity. There's just so much of it right in our backyard. Why not? But considering the country's ideal wine climates, I was surprised to learn that there aren't actually any wine grapes native to Chile. As a matter of fact, wine grapes aren't native to any part of the Americas. According to Wines of Chile, an organization dedicated to promoting Chilean wine throughtout the world, the first wine grapes were brought to Chile by a brother in the Catholic church in 1548. Shortly thereafter the country experienced its first wine boom, sparking a long wine making tradition that continues and flourishes to this day.

My father is the Chilean half, the wine drinking half, the half that allowed me sips as a kid, gulps as a preteen and the occassional glass with dinner when I was in high school. But my knowledge on the topic of wine has always been superficial at best. I can remember hearing my dad speak with such elegant pride of Chilean wine, and all other things Chilean. But wine was always special. It had that touch of class. It was my desire to take part in this source of national pride that made me realize a trip to Chile was an opportunity for me to learn something, for me to connect with my heritage. I did a bit of research and decided I was going to learn about wine by learning about my tastes. Here I have narrowed down three favorites. Just click on the photo of a particular wine to read more.

morande gatonegro cachapoal