The history of Chilean wine dates back to the 16th century and the time of the Spanish conquest. The first vines were planted at that time from stock brought on ships from Spain.
The winemaking industry has seen great changes over time, however. Noble European grape varieties were introduced in the mid-19th century. Then major technological advances came in the 1980s, followed by a tremendous surge in exports of Chilean wine in the past 30 years. All of this forms the backdrop to the development of what is now a prosperous industry.
Chile’s diverse natural conditions allow for a wide range of wine styles—from deep, complex reds to refreshing cool-climate whites. Also, Chile is the only wine-producing country that is free of phylloxera, an insect that devastated much of the vines in Europe at the end of the 19th century.
Red grape harvest: from mid-March through late April
White grape harvest: from late February through mid-March