Chile has had a long history for making wine; Missionaries travelling with the conquistadores brought cuttings from their native Spain to the country in the mid-sixteenth century. The main grape used was 'Pais' which was used to produce sacramental wine. Not until the mid-18th century, were the classic varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon introduced.
By the early 1980's a real upsurge began with the introduction of stainless steel and the use of oak, and exports have grown rapidly since with only 12 wineries in 1995 to well over 100 now.
Chile is now the fifth largest exporter of wines in the world, and the ninth largest producer. The main wine growing areas are Aconcaqua, with the valley and Casablanca, Atacama, Coquimbo, Pica, Malleco, and most importantly the Central Valley with the Valleys of Maipo and Maule taking the forefront of producing some exceptional wines.
The first Bouchon came to Chile's Maule Valley in the late 19th century from his native Bordeaux to set up the winery. The successful venture has since been passed down, with each successive generation taking over the management of the estate. Julio Antonio Bouchon, a graduate in both Agronomy and Enology from the universities of Chile and Bordeaux, is the current president and owner, while Julio Bouchon Lyon is the 4th generation of the family to take an active role in the Company.