Chile has a long viticulture history for a New World Wine region dating to the 16th century when the Spanish conquistadors brought Vitis Vinifera vines with them as they Colonized the region. In the mid-19th century, French Wine Varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmenere and Franc were introduced. In the early 1980s, a renaissance began with the introduction of stainless steel fermentation tanks and the use of oak barrels for aging. Wine exports grew very quickly as quality wine production increased. The number of wineries has grown from 12 in 1995 to over 70 in 2005. Reasons for this sudden expansion vary in significance, but all are essential to understanding Chilean wine culture.