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Spring into South American Grapes

As spring approaches, most winemakers start to get the winemaking itch. Enter the Chilean and Argentinean wine harvests. We are lucky to live in a winemaking world where we can receive fresh winemaking products from these countries. Many of your favorite winemaking retailers bring in grapes, juices, must, and wine kits from Chile, Argentina, and South Africa. Get to know these wine regions and the grapes they are known for as we prepare for the spring Southern Hemisphere harvest. Chile Chile’s winemaking began much like California’s with the Spanish missionaries and conquistadors bringing Spanish grapevines and planting vineyards as far back as the mid-1500s. By the 1800s, Chilean wine producers began planting vines from France. When phylloxera destroyed many of the world’s vineyards in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Chile stood alone as the only major wine-producing country where vines did not experience the outbreak. However, vineyards in some parts of the country did undergo changes at this time as growers began to focus on planting vines based on the climate, elevation, and soil. Previously, Bordeaux varieties were