On Chile. And Obama.


All traditional wine-grape varietals originated from Europe. About two-hundred years ago, European varietals were brought to North America and cultivated. These early plantations failed miserably, for apparently no reason. As a second experiment, North American varietals were brought to Europe and grown there. Surprisingly, the European varietals died out.

Later, it was found that the North American soil contained a bug called phylloxera. This bug injects a toxin that adversely affected the roots of European grape varietals. North American varietals had built up immunity against this toxin, over the years. Some ill-fated troubleshooting had transferred the phylloxera across the Atlantic. The bug multiplied rapidly, completely routing Europe’s premium wine regions.

Then, the European varietals needed to be drafted with roots of North American varietals, to survive. Drafting effectively neutralized the effect of the phylloxera but it also cut down significantly on the age-span of vineyards.

The phylloxera cannot survive in the rugged South American soil. Grape vines in the traditional wine-regions of Chile do not need root-drafts and can live up to be older and with time, richer than those in the Northern hemisphere. Which is why Chilean wines will continue to get better and better.

P.S: I wanted to cleverly link this with Obama’s inauguration but I gave up.


One Response to “On Chile. And Obama.”

  1. Alan Smithee Says:

    You could show how this impacted cognac production and how the hiphop culture reinvigorated cognac sales and how the cognac demographics changed from predominantly WASPs to rappers. Mention the cristal champagne-Jay Z fiasco. Throw in stuff like how the best golfer being black and the best rapper being white portend the impending deluge and how today’s inauguration is a key event in the downward spiral. It is a long hop but doable.

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