by Fred McMillin
for December 15, 1998
December 15, 1577
December 15, 1577—Admiral Francis Drake leaves
England aboard the Golden Hind on a three-year
voyage that will earn him knighthood. Dubbed "The
Dragon" by the Spanish, he looted the ports along
the coasts of Chile and Peru. In the process,
he captured a Spanish ship carrying 1,770
wine-skins of Chilean wine bound for Peru.
...Hugh Jobnson & World Books
The Rest of the Story
Alright, tonight my toast to the first Englishman
to sail around the world will be made with a
Chilean wine...but which one?
About 150 years ago, French vintner M. Bertrand
brought the first Cabernet Sauvignon cuttings
to the land. Prof, de Blij (U. Of Miami) tells
us that the central Maule (mouw-lay) region "ranks
with the best in Chile...Among the noble red grapes,
Cabernet Sauvignon is the most widely planted."
1995 Cabernet Sauvignon, Maule Valley, Chile
Importer—Parliament Wine Company. (We go back together
quite a way. The company was founded in
1967 in New Jersey. I taught my first wine
classes in 1966 in New Jersey. Their
wines proved very popular with my students...
good quality at outstanding prices.)
Rating—RECOMMENDED in its price range.
Not all of Chile (pictured) is suitable for fine wine
production. It is 2,800 miles from the hot
northern border to the frigid southern tip.
The vineyards are located principally in a
600-mile-long central stretch.
||About the Writer
Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history
for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine
courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College.
In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred
with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded
to American wine writers.
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