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LAPT Viña del Mar: We have to stop here, this is wine country

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When you go to certain countries, there are certain things you have to do.

When you go to Chile, you taste the wine.

This region of the South America is world-famous for its wine making. It's an art that the region has been practicing for more 500 years. But, despite its long history of wine making, new wine companies are constantly sprouting up as wine makers try to outdo each other in the never-ending quest for perfection.

"With wine, you never stop learning," said Lucia Figueroa, a sommelier at the local winery, La Vinoteca.

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La Vinoteca on 545 St. Martin Ave.

One of the most recent developments in the Chilean wine scene, according to Figueroa, is the emergence of good, white wines.

The Chilean wine scene has mostly been dominated by Merlots and other red wines, but two new contenders appeared this harvest season.

"When it comes to white wine, Valle Casa Blanco and Casas del Bosque have really impressed us," Figueroa said.

La Vinoteca has both wines in stock, with a bottle of Valle Casa Blanco costing about 5,390 pesos (US$11) and Casas del Bosque going for 10,500 pesos (US$21.50).

When asked what good red wines were available, Figueroa simply laughed.

"Too many," she said.

When asked to name the top five, she came up short again.

"It'd be unfair for me to name some and not others, there are so many good wineries in the area," Figueraoa added.

They also have quality wines that fit all budgets, with prices ranging from 2,990 pesos (US$6) to 18,000 pesos (US$370). If wine is not your thing, but you know an enthusiast, the store also gift wraps and prepares bottles for flights.

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A small sample of all the wines La Vinoteca has to offer

But if you are an oenophile, there's no better time to be in Chile. Harvest season starts in March and doesn't end until April.

If you want to check out the store, it's open Mon-Sat from 10am-8pm and is located on 545 St. Martin Ave.

That's on the same street as the Enjoy Hotel & Casino. Just take a left outside of the casino's main entrance and take a five-minute walk.

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