Chilean Wine Region Facts
The first vineyards were established in Chile by the Spanish in the mid-sixteenth century. Since that time Chile has developed a thriving wine market, however it has grown considerably in recent years with the introduction of French wine varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Merlot. Although Chilean Wine generally lacks the fruitiness of California or Australian wines its less understated than European wines.
Geographically speaking, Chile is a very unique country, with it being very narrow from east to west and extremely long from north to south. Chile has a large range of mountains on the coast that keeps much of the dampness of the Pacific Ocean from reaching vineyards. However, the ocean breeze helps to make this climate an ideal place for wineries and vineyards.
Traditionally good Chilean wine was known to be red, however today the whites especially those grown in the cooler climates of Chile are gaining popularity in the industry. There are nine main wine regions of Chile, they include, the Limari Valley, a small region just northwest of Santiago, near the Pacific Ocean. The climate here is very unique in its proximity to the ocean. Chile’s three largest wineries have bought land in this region.
Chilean wine was known to be red
The Aconcagua Valley and the Casablanca Valley are both located in the mountains. With the cooler temperatures white wines grow very well here. The San Antonio Valley is one of the smallest and one of the newest regions. It is just south of Casablanca and next to the ocean. Pinot Noir grows very well on the steep slopes of this region of Chile.
Next, just south of San Antonio is the Maipo Valley and the Cachapoal Valley both are near the Andes Mountains. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot come from wineries here.The Colchagua Valley is one of Chile’s most important new regions for red wine. The Curico Valley is one of the oldest and largest regions because of the diverse climate here both red and white wines grow nicely. Maule is the southern most valley and the largest in the area. Like the Curico Valley it also has a diverse climate with both red and white wines being produced here.