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Country: Chile  Region: Central Valley  Grape: Chardonnay

Ever since missionaries introduced vines and winemaking to Chile in the mid-sixteenth century, it has been made there. The modern wine industry began in 1851, when grapes and methods of viticulture and viniculture were imported from Bordeaux, moments before Phylloxera devastated the vineyards of France. Chile’s vines have never been infected. Furthermore, due to its fortunate geographical location, Chile has escaped the devastation of mildew and lice as well. With the aid of irrigation, viticulture has flourished and today production from the Valle Central, east of Santiago, is about

half of that of the nation’s total. This fortunate area enjoys optimum climate, sun, pure Andean water and perfect soil.

Vina San Esteban began in 1974 with the acquisition of La Florida and Pidahuen Estates, and is today one of the largest producers of high quality Chilean wines, and a leading exporter. It was officially incorporated in 1993. The selection chosen from Vina San Esteban’s gift to us this month is made from 100% Chardonnay, and boasts a delicate straw yellow hue in the bottle. Intense aroma combining tropical fruit, especially pineapple, with toasted hazelnut announces the rich fullness on the palate, with citric and vanilla notes throughout the pleasant finish. Serve now, chilled, with fish, chicken, or sautéed veal with mushrooms.

CHARDONNAY — Chardonnay is one of the few grapes that honestly does not require blending. It is a highly aromatic fruit of great complexity with a flavor intense enough to stand all on its own. It is the individual artistry of the winemaker and his fermentation and aging processes that bring out the intriguing variety of delicate aromas and flavors in the many different Chardonnays on the market today. Vina San Esteban’s offering is handled with obvious care and expertise.

 

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Tracie Burket
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