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Winemaking In Chile

The Lost Grape of Bordeaux

Originally planted in the Medoc region of Bordeaux, Chile's signature grape was, along with cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, malbec and petit verdot considered one of the six noble grapes of Bordeaux. After phylloxera decimated the vines in France in the nineteenth century, growers did not replant Carmenere as it was difficult to find and more difficult to grow than other grape varieties common to Bordeaux. The Carmenere vines were not suited to the chilly, damp Spring weather and were rarely healthy. Consequently the Carmenere grape was replaced with the more versatile varieties.

Cuttings of Carmenere arrived in Chile in the 19th century and the conditions here were much more favourable. However, over the years the grapes were confused with Merlot and both grapes were blended together. As a result the Carmenere grape was practically forgotten. Interestingly Chilean merlots have always been recognized for their distinctive character and this prompted a study in 1994 which led to the rediscovery of the Carmenere grape thriving in the vineyards around Santiago. Many of the Chilean vintners saw the potential and moved quickly to produce the first true Carmenere wine. Today there is a wide selection available and the style has become a flagship for the Chilean wine industry. The grape continues to flourish in Chile's warm, dry conditions and the country remains the only principal wine producing country that is free of phylloxera.

For more information on the increasing range of Carmenere wines available, click here.

Winemaking in Chile Winemaking in Chile

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Map and Wine Regions Map and Wine Regions

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The Carmenere Grape Story The Carmenere Grape Story

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The Wine Brands The Wine Brands

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NSW Liquor Act 1982: It is an offence to sell or supply to or obtain liquor on behalf of a person under the age of 18 years.
VIC Liquor Control Reform Act 1998: Under the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 for Victoria, it is an offence - To supply alcohol to a person under the age of 18 years (Penalty exceeds $6,000) - For a person under the age of 18 years to purchase or receive liquor (Penalty exceeds $500).

GAP Wines Pty Ltd trading as Chilean Wine Cellar  Liquor Licence number 354380

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Chilean Wine