The production of wine first began in Chile after vines were brought by the Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century. Cultivated by Jesuit priests, this wine was used during mass. While under Spanish rule, Chileans were forced to purchase only wines made in Spain. These restrictions lead to the Chilean production of pisco, a fortified grape brandy.
One of the most geographically unique wine regions in the world, the country of Chile is nearly 2700 miles long, but only 110 miles wide. Within this narrow country, vines are influenced by the South Pacific ocean to the West, and the Andes Mountain range to the East.