chile (4)

South America's Iconic Vicuñas

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Visitors to part of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru (where it's the national animal and is even on the country's coat of arms) may come across this quintessential South American mammal, a camelid related to guanacos, llamas, and alpacas (which are descended from vicuñas) The smallest of the camelids, vicuñas stand about three feet tall at the shoulder; weigh between 70 and 150 pounds; and have long necks and legs as well as relatively small heads with long pointed ears.

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Chile Producing Premier Carménère Wines

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Chile’s signature grape varietal arrived just before phylloxera hit Europe in the mid 19th century. With the country's new wine region just getting established, a few Carménère cuttings were imported and planted in the valleys of Santiago among Merlot vines. Despite the sparse rainfall and hot days, they immediately flourished in their new climate.

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Carménère was at first confused for “Chilean Merlot” until a 1994 DNA analysis revealed its true identity. Further complicating things, Carménère wa

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Chilean Wines Long on Flavor and Uniqueness

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Chile offers a broad spectrum of varietals produced in eight regions across 600 miles of Armador-768x1024.jpg?width=370vastly diverse terroir, running the gamut from coastal highlands to craggy Andean plateaus 13,000 feet or more above sea level.

The concept of grapes and wine making was little known in Chile before Spanish conquistadors invaded during the 1500s, planting Pais vines, which are now considered Chiles national grape. At the time, Pais, also known as “mission grapes” fed a growing need for sacramental wine used

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10915004701?profile=RESIZE_930xChris Oakley


If you find should yourself spending New Year’s Eve in a Spanish-speaking country, you may notice that the locals have an interesting tradition of their own for this special night. As the big moment nears, participants will suspend clusters of grapes over their mouths (or have a loose handful of them) and eat one with each clock strike of midnight. These are “las doce uvas de la suerte” (the twelve grapes of fortune), which of course is what everyone wishes themselves and others f

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