Chile has a long history of grape growing and winemaking, but was not much noticed outside of the country until the late 80's or early 90's when new technology allowed wineries to produce clean, fruit forward wines at bargain prices. However, some world-class reds are being produced from Cabernet, Carmenere and even Pinot Noir. Like many New World countries, Chile has adopted a signature grape variety, Carmenere, once widely grown in Bordeaux. It was thought to be extinct following the European phylloxera outbreaks of the 19th century, but was rediscovered in Chile in the 1990s. The country is long and skinny, running more than 4000 kms from North to South. However, the greatest distinction is not made north-south, but rather east-west. In the hundred miles from the sea to the border, Chile experiences pacific influence, influence from coastal mountains, a hot central valley and the Andes.
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