The country of India conjures up thoughts of exotic spices; colorful fabrics, woven with golden thread; intricate hand-drawn henna hand art; elaborate gold jewelry; and beautiful temples; but did you know that it is a growing wine region? Grape growing in India dates back a couple of millennia, but modern-day winemaking in India saw its start around the 1980s, with the rise of the middle class and its demand for wine.
The first vines brought to Chile came via Spanish Conquistadors as early as the 1500s. Immigrants from Europe would bring more varieties to Chile, especially from Bordeaux in the 1800s. As of 2020, 70 percent of Chilean wine production is exported.
Originally, there were six noble grapes identified: Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Merlot for the reds; and Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Riesling for the whites. “Noble grapes” is a term that was coined to describe international grape varieties that were the most recognized for the top-quality wine they produce.
Viognier is a grape that is as hard to grow as the name is to pronounce. The variety is early ripening, leaving it susceptible to late spring frosts that can burn the delicate buds that would ultimately form all the green growth including the grapes themselves.