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Chile

Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough, A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse and Thou, Beside me singing in the Wilderness And Wilderness is Paradise enow.
[ O M A R K H AY YA M ]

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The best Chilean wines are produced between 30 and 40 degrees south latitude.

This narrow 1,800 mile long country is located between the intense Andes and the Pacific Ocean, creating a delightful and pleasant Mediterranean climate. Landscaped with meandering rugged rivers, peaceful lakes, majestic mountains, rolling hills, meadows, an unforgiving desert and a beautiful coast line, Chile is a land of plenty. Santiago is a sophisticated city with a strong free market economy and modern tourist facilities. The people are proud, and as a result, their literature, music, dance and cuisine have strong influences of culture from both the past and present. Patagonia is located on Chiles southern tip. Patagonia is a remarkable destination for travelers with eco-adventure tourism in their sites. Punta Arenas, the southernmost city in the world, sits slightly above the straight of Magellan, the most important natural sea passage linking the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Chile also includes a wonderland of islands, including Easter Island, Robinson Crusoe Island and Tierra del Fuego, which is shared between Argentina and Chile. When traveling to Chile, it is important not to forget the accolades and accomplishments of their wine industry. The luscious and value-packed wines, combined with the lands diverse characteristics, will put a new perspective into a wine vacation.

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A large part of the best Chilean wine is sold outside of Chile.

THE TERROIR

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CHILE
Antarctica ice lying south of the wine country. However, these formidable natural boundaries created the perfect Mediterranean climate and one of the most dynamic wine regions in the world of wine. The narrowest point is only 96 miles wide, but some of the most expensive grapes are grown here. Snow fall from the harsh Andes winters creates the perfect irrigation system. The warm, dry sunny days and the cool nights allow the skins of the grapes to thicken, creating incredible concentrated fruit. Today, Chile is considered one of the five major wine regions of the world and is

The first grapevines arrived in Chile with the Spanish explorers during the 16th century. But during the mid-nineteenth century, it was the French that had the biggest influence over the Chilean wine industry, importing Bordeaux grapes and planting mostly Cabernet Sauvignon. For most of the twentieth century, Chilean wine was unexceptional and labeled as ordinary, cheap wine. The countrys unstable politics and high taxes in the marketplace only increased the industrys dismal outlook. Grape growers and winemakers lost the ambition that was needed to turn things around. In the 1980s, with vast changes in the political, economic and social climates, Chile became the new Bordeaux. Its winery and vineyard practices were modified, updated, and greatly improved. This was the beginning of the Chilean wine boom. The wine country is locked within the massive Andes Mountains to the east, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Atacama Desert north with frozen masses of

CHILE & ARGENTINA

ninth in production, with the United States its biggest customer. The vineyards are located in many valleys in the various wine regions. Up north are the Aconcagua and Casablanca Valleys, which are considered to be among the most important wine regions. The central valley wine regions are the Maipo, Rapel, Curico and Maule Valleys. And south are the Bio-Bio and Itata Valleys, which are the coolest regions with occasional wet and swampy conditions. There are approximately twenty different varietals of grapes growing in Chile. Twenty percent of the grapes that are planted are the Pais grapes, brought over by Spanish Conquistadors. Wine made from the Pais grape is unforgettable, basic and very rustic. The Maipo Valley is primarily known for prestigious Cabernet Sauvignon, and is the heart of the industry with great mesoclimates and soil types, each producing different nuances of flavor. The most northern regions of Aconcagua and Casablanca are the warmest valleys with pockets of cool sea air, also producing good Cabernets, Merlots, Syrah and Carmenere. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are also grown in most areas and make well rounded, balanced wines with great price tags. The further south you travel, small amounts of Pinot Noir, Gewurztraminer and Rieslings will surface, especially in the Itata and Bio-Bio Valleys. An important recent development for the Chilean wine industry is the identification of the Carmenere grape, which previously had been confused with Merlot. The grape produces full-flavored, soft, plumy wine and originally grew in Bordeaux. Sauvignon Vert, also called Sauvignonasse, a white floral wine, and small amounts of Barbera, can also be sampled while on a Chilean wine vacation.

We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment.


[ HILARIE BELLOC ]

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C h i l e s v i n e y a r d s a r e e n v i a b l y f r e e f r o m m a j o r p e s t a n d d i s e a s e s .

WELCOME

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SANTIAGO
the guards at one of Santiagos government palaces. Or spend some time shopping for souvenirs at one of many local markets that offer a large variety of arts and crafts, and other local handcrafted products.

From anywhere you stand in Santiago the bold Andean mountain range can be seen. Because of its prime location, it is the only city in Chile that has easy access to both ski and beach resorts. Numerous villages surround the city center and are great places to relax and enjoy the peaceful, tranquil countryside. Santiago feels like a city going through a massive makeover with huge new office towers, subway routes and highway infrastructure being built. It is a bit of a hodgepodge with areas of old neighborhoods still in rubble due to a succession of earthquakes that took place in the 60s and 70s. Santiago is a great base for trips into the wine region, and is a good introduction to the country, offering a pleasing choice of museums, restaurants, nightlife, markets and historical monuments, churches and cathedrals. Some of the must see sites include San Cristobal, where panoramic views of the entire city can be seen, and the Mercado Central, a place where you can sample the local and regional foods of Chile. Consider having a fresh seafood lunch that includes a bucket of clams or mussels. You can also witness the changing of

CHILE & ARGENTINA

Colchagua Museum
See the Colchagua Museum as your private guide takes you through objects and themes, years of knowledge, and the passion lived through the eyes and origins of human beings living in South America and Chile. You will find marvelous exhibits on paleontology, archeology, pre-Columbia Art, The Conquest, colony development and the independence of Chile, as well as the development of arms, machinery, riding gear, transportation and Jewels from the lost Andes. It is truly a wonderfully diverse museum of Latin American art and artifacts.
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Hot Springs, Baths & El Morado National Park


Spend a peaceful day with nature, hiking or walking the beautiful National Park of El Morado. Located an hour and a half from Santiago, your guide will take you through the Cajon del Maipo, a protected wonderland, nestled in the base of the Andes. Some of the most spectacular sites in the park include El Morado Lagoon, San Francisco Glacier and Aguas Panimavidas, a meadow of bubbling cool springs. Then see more mineral pools and hot springs, where you will have the option to jump in and relax.

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Shopping Pomaire & Isla Negra


Tourists interested in handicrafts will enjoy visiting the village of Pomaire, famous for its clay pottery. Less than an hour outside of Santiago you will see horses deliver blocks of clay as you watch it take shape. This tiny place has enchanting miniatures, vases, pots, cooking pottery, statues, rain sticks, dried flowers, plants and much more. It is also a great spot to eat Chilean specialty dishes. Then you will continue to Isla Negra, where you can visit the main home of Chile's Nobel Prize winning poet, Pablo Neruda.
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