Chile is the oldest wine-growing country in South America. In the middle of the 16th century spanish vines were planted in Chile. The country's modern viniculture, however, goes back to French immigrants who brought their vines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, that today dominate Chile's grape varieties. In the wine-growing regions of Chile, ideal temperatures with warm days and relatively cool nights prevail, which favors the aromas of the grapes. Due to the low rainfalls, practically all vineyards of Chile must be watered artificially. On the other hand the fungal infection is rare due to the dry climate, which usually makes chemical treatment unnecessary.
The wines of Chile have an intense fruitiness and usually soft tannins and low acidity, liked by many consumers. In addition, Chilean wine is very competitive in terms of its low wages and rational cultivation methods, which has given it a considerable market share even in Europe.
The Cabernet Sauvignon dominates the red wines with 40% of the total cultivation area, followed by Merlot (15%) and Carmenere (6.5%).