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Chile

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About Chile

Chile is a country that extends 4,270km from top to bottom which sounds very large, but in reality it is so narrow (averaging 177km wide) that it ranks 7th out of 12 countries in South America in terms of size. This doesn’t reflect Chilean wine production though as the country is famously known globally for its cabernet sauvignon and pisco. Another famous aspect of Chilean culture is Easter Island, a location where 'moai' stone statues dating back between 1250-1500AD were constructed to honour deified ancestors. Easter Island has been inhabited since 300AD - the locals have persevered through slave raids, epidemics, and even civil wars. Today the island rests as an attractive tourist destination for travelers from all over the world. Chile has a very special balance of high altitude mountains, low lying valleys, and cross ocean winds which help keep the country a bearable warm temperature during its many sunny days. Chile’s climate and landscape varies greatly throughout the country; the driest place on Earth is the Atacama Desert at 7,500ft, some of the largest active volcanoes are located in Chile, and some of the Andes mountain peaks are cold and snowy at 13,314ft. Overall, the climate for growing grapes is optimal - it is even said that the climate sits between that of France and California. Thanks to the geographical layout of the country, Chile has never had an infestation of phylloxera (a microscopic aphid which eat the roots of grapes and are known to destroy full vineyards ), which makes it the only major wine-producing country to have never battled the insects. The history of Chilean wine cultivation is rich, dating back to 1554 when Vitis vinifera vines were brought over from Europe. The Carménère grape is another Chilean variety that was also originally native to Europe, brought over from France. Since then it has been planted in the Colchagua Valley so plentifully that Chile now has the most plantings globally. Chile also produces the most Pisco (a brandy made from distilling fermented grape juice) in the world. This spirit is commonly used in cocktails, namely the pisco sour,

FACTS

Population
18.73 million (2018)

Area
756,950 sq km (292,260 sq mi)