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The first vines planted in Chile were brought in the mid-1550s by Spanish missionaries who wanted table and sacramental wines. Less than 200 years later, with the importation of cuttings of the great Bordeaux varieties, Chileans discovered they were able to produce "serious" wines, and the modern era of winemaking began. In the early 19th century, a national nursery was established, some of its first specimens being healthy French vinifera vines, which geographic isolation shielded from phylloxera (the   More