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Ja well no vine: Desert yields a wine that thrives on 360 days ...


Ja well no vine: Desert yields a wine that thrives on 360 days of sun

This distinctive and exotic wine is produced in Chile in vineyards at 3,500 metres above sea level

Rodrigo Gutierrez

Extreme temperatures, intense desert sun and high altitudes give grapes grown in Chile’s Atacama Desert a thick skin, which according to farmers from the world’s driest desert produces in an intensely coloured wine with bold flavours.

Up at 3,600m above sea level, in between highland peaks with scarce vegetation, the grapes from Caracoles vineyard withstand extreme temperature fluctuations and harsh weather. Despite that, Cecilia Cruz, who has managed the vineyard for the last six years, says she is used to the desert’s rough conditions.

“For me it is not difficult because I was raised on the land,” said Cruz, who is 67. “This is the future for my children, later when I am not here. I am very proud.”..

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