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Vino de Eyzaguirre San Francisco 1999

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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.

    A source of reliable, budget-friendly wines and, increasingly, more premium bottlings, Chile is one of South America’s most important wine-producing countries. Long and thin, it is largely isolated geographically, bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Andes Mountains to the east, and the Atacama desert to the north. These natural borders gave Chile the very favorable benefit of being the only country to avoid the disastrous phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s. As a result, vines can be planted on their own rootstock rather than grafted. Though viticulture was introduced to the country by conquistadors from Spain, today Chile’s wine production is most influenced by the French, who emigrated here in large numbers to escape the blight of phylloxera. These settlers have invested heavily in local vineyards and wineries.

    Chile’s vineyards, planted mainly with international varieties, 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 to produce cool-climate 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 light-bodied Pinot Noir and cool-climate whites like 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, excellent cool-climate Riesling, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir are made.

    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 create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. 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