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Chile's Treasures

A dynamic winemaking culture pushes the frontiers of quality, from the high Andes to the cool Pacific shore
Kim Marcus
Issue: May 31, 2014

From the air it's easy to see that Santiago, Chile, is booming. Construction cranes appear like so many storks delivering the latest crop of skyscrapers. Latin America's tallest building, the Gran Torre Santiago, soars to nearly 1,000 feet, its massive bulk reminiscent of a huge rocket ready for liftoff. Yet beginning 10 or so miles south of the heart of this metropolis of 6 million lies another world. The towering front of the Andes rises abruptly to the east, and from the mountains flows the gravel-choked Maipo River. Just above its banks is the historic headquarters of Chile's largest winery, Viña Concha y Toro, whose neighbors include some of the nation's leading producers. It makes for a startling juxtaposition, with verdant vineyards and beautiful wine estates amid the southern reaches of Santiago's sprawl. Wine Spectator's Kim Marcus explains.

For the full article, check out the new issue of Wine Spectator, on newsstands April 22, 2014.

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