The Tasting Panel magazine

August 2017

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Page 34 of 136

34  /  the tasting panel  /  august 2017 SOUTH AMERICAN WINES C hile sometimes gets pigeonholed as a safe, New World producer with good, simple wines at a fair price point. It's not a bad rep, but it isn't exactly riveting either. However, boasting both the oldest vines and the newest wine regions in South America, Chile is plump with diversity and spilling over with innovation. While the industry is concentrated in Santiago, the cradle of Chilean wine is more than 300 miles south—near the busy port of Concepción. Located where the mouth of the Bío Bío River meets the Pacific Ocean, Concepción has been one of Chile's greatest trading posts for over five centuries. "Vine-growing started in Itata, Bío Bío and Maule with the arrival of the Spanish [in the 1500s]," explains winemaker François Massoc. As word on the quality of Chilean wine spread, they began exporting back to Spain and the colonies, establishing a wine industry that the Spanish Crown sought—and failed—to crush. For those first European immigrants, having a vineyard was as normal as growing a vegetable patch. The tradition lives on today between the humpbacked hillsides of Itata, where WHY CHILE IS MORE EXCITING THAN YOU THINK story and photos by Amanda Barnes There are a wealth of century-old vines in Itata, located in the Bío Bío region of southern Chile. Morning mist bathes the coastal valleys. A New World's NEW REPUTATION

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