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SAN SILVESTRE Viña Ochagavia
The San Silvestre brand is produced by Viña Ochagavia, whose future founder Don Silvestre Ochagavia is not known as “the father of Chilean viticulture” for nothing; he caused a sensation back in 1851 by planting the first French grape varieties in Santiago. In 1846, with a law degree under his belt, he went into politics and became the Chilean Minister for Foreign Affairs – a position that required him to travel to France, and he set up home in Bordeaux. Developing a deep passion and interest in wine, he examined the differences between French and Chilean vinicultural practices, and studied with French oenologists for many years, becoming knowledgeable about wine-making techniques, cultivars and terroir. Wanting to apply this knowledge to his family estate, Don Silvestre returned to Chile, accompanied by a team of specialists and those all-important French grape cuttings, which adapted well to the Chilean climate and soils, realising the potential for quality grape-growing. Whilst Phylloxera ravaged European vineyards in the mid-1800's, Chile remained free of this devastating disease, and European winemakers flocked to the country in search of new opportunities, bringing their expertise with them. Today Viña Ochagavia's distinctive wines are exported to over 30 countries, truly cementing their place in the wine markets of the world, fulfilling Don Silvestre's vision, and continuing his legacy.