Chile is one of the most important South American countries in terms of wine quality and production. It is also the longest and most narrow allowing for an interesting combination of micro-climates. Viticulture was first introduced by the Spanish in the mid-1500s; however, it was the French who ultimately had a greater role to play in terms of wine production. It is one of the few places on earth that does not suffer from phylloxera, the North American vine aphid that destroyed much of Europe’s vineyards in the 19th century, due to the high proportion of sand in its soils. As a result, its vines are ungrafted. Though it is well viewed for its Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir, Carmenere is considered its most famous and sought after variety. Originally hailing from Bordeaux, Carmenere has achieved new levels of quality in Chile’s unique soil and climate. Some of its most famous producers include Concha y Toro, Almaviva (a joint estate with Concha y Toro and Mouton-Rothschild) and Viña von Siebenthal, a winery created and owned by Swiss business, Mauro von Siebenthal.