- a South American country that is the tenth-largest wine-producing country in the world and the fifth largest exporter of wine. The narrow 5,000 kilometre-long strip of land that is Chile is ideal for growing grapes for wine. Everything conspires in its favour: the climate, the volcanic soil, and the unusual fact that Chilean vines have never been infected with the phylloxera root aphid and so have some of the only vineyards growing original rootstocks rather than vines produced by the more usual grafting process onto phylloxera-resistant rootstock that is required in other parts of the world. Vines have been grown in Chile since Spanish settlers arrived in the middle of the 16th century, but the modern Chilean wine industry grew out of the travels of the Chilean well-to-do, who, enjoying the fine wines of Europe, brought home new vines to make better wine than that made predominantly from the Pais grape. Foreign winemakers were brought in, early examples of the modern flying winemakers. Chilean wine flourished, especially as the rest of the winemaking world suffered the twin scourges of phylloxera and mildew. In more recent times resistance to Chilean wine was created by a dislike of the prevailing political situation, but the resolution of this situation in the 1980s encouraged further growth and investment. Modern winemaking technology was introduced and Chile’s wine exports soared. Chilean wines are notable for their clean, fruity varietal nature. Cabernet Sauvignon is the most successful variety, but Chilean Merlots, Pinot Noirs, and Syrahs also do well. Chardonnay and Sauvignon from the Casablanca area are particularly notable. The majority of Chile’s wine production takes place from Aconcagua, north of Santiago, to Maule, where the majority of Chile’s bulk wines are produced. The Casablanca, Maipo, and Rapel areas provide good quality wines from cool climate vineyards.