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May 19, 2023 | samples from the south
Did you know that South America is the second most important wine-producing continent after Europe?
Though not native to our southerly neighbor, wine grapes have been cultivated there since the 1500s, arriving with Spanish conquistadors intent on finding treasure and determined to conquer the Inca Empire, and the Spanish missionaries that followed soon after. As the groups colonized modern day Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador and onward, they planted vines brought with them from Europe, now referred to as criollas. By the late sixteenth century, records show Chile had widespread vineyards and a soon-to-be-flourishing domestic wine trade had begun in Argentina.
These days, South America's production continues to be influenced greatly by immigrants and their descendants. But with a blend of stunning—and somewhat extreme—landscapes and climates, and a vibrant and diverse local winemaking culture, the continent's wine industry offers immense delicious, unique possibilities.
Today (Friday, 5.19!) we’re pouring a sample pack from three of the continent's most prominent producers—Argentina, Chile and Uruguay: