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Vino de Eyzaguirre San Francisco 1999

Other Red Blends from Chile
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    Vino de Eyzaguirre

    Vino de Eyzaguirre

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    Vino de Eyzaguirre, Chile
    In the mid-seventeenth century, the Eyzaguirre family left their home in Vizcaya, Spain, and traveled to Chile to seek their fortune. They prospered and became distinguished citizens of their new country. In 1768 Domingo Eyzaguirre was appointed mayor of the capital city of Santiago.

    His son, Domingo Eyzaguirre II, planted some of the first vines from French rootstock in that region and founded the Vino de Eyzaguirre near a village built by monks from a nearby Franciscan monastery.

    At first the wine was "bottled" in sturdy, 15-liter earthenware chuicos, which survived the bumpy trip by horse-drawn cart from the village to the monastery. When the winery switched to much smaller glass bottles, however, breakage became a problem. To protect their precious cargo, the monks took to wrapping the bottles in burlap sacks. The idea caught on with the winery and became a tradition that has endured to this day.

    Today the "EZ-GARY" is produced at Viña San Jorge in the prestigious Colchagua Valley, renowned for its near-perfect climate for growing grapes, and for wines of exceptional quality.

    One of South America’s most important wine-producing countries, Chile is a reliable source of both budget-friendly wines and premium bottlings. Spanish settlers, Juan Jufre and Diego Garcia de Cáceres, most likely brought Vitis vinifera (Europe’s wine producing vine species) to the Central Valley of Chile some time in the 1550s. But Chile’s modern wine industry is largely the result of heavy investment from the 1990s.

    Long and narrow, Chile is geographically isolated, bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Andes Mountains to the east and the Atacama desert to the north. These natural borders allowed Chile to avoid the disastrous phylloxera infestation in the late 1800s and as a result, vines are often planted on their own rootstock rather than grafted (as is the case in much of the wine producing world).

    Chile’s vineyards vary widely in climate and soil type from north to south. The Coquimbo region in the far north contains the Elqui and Limari Valleys, where minimal rainfall and intense sunlight are offset by chilly breezes from the Humboldt Current. While historically focused solely on Pisco production, today this area finds success with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The Aconcagua region contains the eponymous Aconcagua Valley—hot and dry and home to full-bodied red wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot—as well as Casablanca Valley and San Antonio Valley, which focus on Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The Central Valley is home to the Maipo, Rapel, Curicó and Maule Valleys, which produce a wide variety of red and white wines. Maipo in particular is known for Carmenère, Chile’s unofficial signature grape. In the up-and-coming southern regions of Bio Bio and Itata make excellent Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

    Other Red Blends

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    With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

    PIM20991_1999 Item# 43251