With the soaring Andes as the backdrop, a far-reaching revolution is taking place in Chile's wine industry. And a handful of statuesque reds lead the way. A dozen years ago, when Chile cast off the shackles of Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship and embraced a stable, democratic government, the country had already earned a reputation for fruity and ripe, if sometimes oxidized, red wines at friendly prices. With a supporting cast of $5 and $10 Merlots and Cabs gaining notoriety and winning medals, Chilean wine soared in popularity in international markets, becoming the third-largest source of U.S. wine imports in 1998 with 5.3 million 12-bottle cases, according to the Department of Commerce.
As Chile's free market economy gained momentum, outside money, expertise and equipment began to pour into its wine industry. Local growers increasingly adopted international wine standards, and Chile's red wines took a quantum leap in quality. And price.
Chile's established players are making top-flight reds - among them.......................
Check out this "The Wine news" magazine article for more on Chilean wines.