A major country from South America that is known for its Wine Production would be Chile. This place is also named as the ‚Äúwinegrower‚Äôs paradise,‚ÄĚ for its wide range of terroirs. With the wide range of terroirs, it provides the multiple ranges of wines starting from Sauvignon Blanc¬†made in the¬†Casablanca¬†valleys to the Bordeaux Blends¬†coming from both¬†Maipo Valley¬†and¬†Colchagua. With a land worth 4300kms running from north to south. The¬†land here is very fertile and favorable for the study, growth and further productions of grapes and thus resulting in amazing varieties of wines.
The wine made in Chile is termed as Chilean wine. The viticultural history of Chile dates back to the 16th century when the Spanish¬†people brought¬†with them ‚ÄúVitis vinifera¬†vines.‚ÄĚ From 1995 to 2005 the number of wineries grew from 12 to over 70
The major wine producing regions in chile
The first vineyards in Chile were established in the 16th century. From then itself, Chile has kept the industry healthy and under a constant growth. Being an isolated country due to the Pacific Ocean in the west and with the Andes Mountains on the east, Chile wasn‚Äôt affected by the oceans climate and the temperature difference. Below are some of the major wine producing areas of Chile.
- Limari Valley:¬†Situated in Santiago, with its hot and dry climate, it presents a microclimate which has a cool morning fog along with the ocean breezes throughout the day. Concha y Toro, SanPedro, and Santa Rita, Chile‚Äôs 3 largest wineries are all situated here in Limari. The best wines made here are Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Syrah.
- Aconcagua Valley:¬†This Valley is named after the country‚Äôs highest mountain, Mount Aconcagua. Aconcagua is a mix of warm and cool high altitude sections. Cabernet Sauvignon mainly grows here with the recent growth of Syrah. Vi√Īa Err√°zuriz is the important winery here.
- San Antonio Valley:¬†This is undoubtedly Chile‚Äôs most amazing valley, situated in the south of Casablanca Valley. Pinot Noir and Syrah are the major growths around this valley. The best winery to look out for here would be Vi√Īa Matetic.
- Maipo Valley:¬†This could be called, Chile‚Äôs one of the most established wine areas. Cabernet Sauvignon being the king around this region, Merlot also has a good share.
- Cachapoal Valley:¬†One of the two main wine regions of the Rapel Valley is the Cachapoal Valley. It is a region that produces red wine and provides Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon strongly.
- Colchagua Valley:¬†The ocean breezes have transformed the quiet Colchagua Valley into an important new red wine region. The major growths here are Carmen√®re, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah.
- Maule:¬†Being the largest wine region in Chile, it provides both White and Red wine varieties. Maule Valley‚Äôs important growths are Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot.
Some of Chile‚Äôs finest Wineries:
- Concha y Toro: Being one of the Latin America‚Äôs largest wine producers, it produces the best lines recognized in the world, ‚ÄúCasillero del Diablo.‚ÄĚ It was founded by Don Melchor Santiago de Concha y Toro in 1883. It is the best place for a casual visit to the winery, for tasting wine and for casual tours. Also, a visit to the Devil‚Äôs Cellar Casillero del Diablo.
- Cousino Macul: It is one of those ancient wineries that date back to 1854. It is still run by the founding family itself. It is also called the home to the best vines that were planted back in 1546 in Chile. Their original winery is now based in the urban mass of Santiago. The major vineyards are now scattered, but the actual building is still a place worth visiting.
- Viu Manent: Viu Manent is located in Colchagua Valley. It is working for 80 years, and it produces a variety of stylish wines. ‚ÄėEl Incidente‚Äô a blend of Carmenere, Petit Verdot and Malbec was named after a trip that was taken by a family member in a hot air balloon. There is also a range named, ‚ÄėSecreto‚Äô which is a guarded secret. This winery provides you with a horse drawn carriage tour along with food and the best of wines produced there.
- Errazuriz: This was founded in the year 1870 and is now run by a family member, Eduardo Chadwick even after six generation. It is located in the north of Santiago, Aconcagua Valley and is known best for its microclimate produced wines. This winery serves you with a luxurious experience, providing you with the tour of their Don Maximiano building and their historical They also provide you with a four course meal with various options to choose from.
- Loma Larga: The Loma Larga winery can be termed as one of the rising stars after the devastation caused by the earthquake in 2010. It is situated in Santiago in Casablanca Valley. Its rise after the earthquake is pushing it towards international fame too. Though it is a new operator, it has won multiple prizes like Wine and Spirits‚Äô2011, Winery of the Year and so on.
- Kingston vineyards: Carl John Kingston came in search of Gold in the Casablanca Valley during the 20th But that search led to nothing but him settling down as a dairy farmer, because of the large lands under his name. Now after five generations, they are excelling in the production of the artisanal range of wines. They ruled with the production of the range of red wines, in an estate known for their whites becoming worldwide sellers.
- Vina Von Siebenthal: Swiss Mauro von Siebenthal, in 1988 leaving the career of a lawyer decided to set up a winery. It was an outsider‚Äôs dream situated in the Aconcagua Valley. This winery produces a range of six red wines which are carefully developed keeping in mind the climatic conditions of the place and the best for the grapes that are cultivated.
- Casa Silva: Situated in the Colchagua Valley, it is the grandest winery, Chile has ever had. It consists of Boutique Hotels, gourmet styled restaurants, horse riding clubs, polo fields with hundreds of acres of the vineyards it has. It is best known for its Carmenere, Sauvignon Blanc vines, A special panel is elected to approve each new brand on its merits and demerits before it goes out in the market.
- Vina Aquitania: This winery can be visited using Santiago‚Äôs metro itself. The way gives you a pleasant view of the city on one side and the towering mountains on the other. It majorly produces few wines with elite qualities with its small yet effective team. The processes that take place are also a part of the tour that is provided, and the guides are trained well to explain every little detail and thus the product is also produced in front of the viewers. This is also a great place to taste good and exclusive quality wine at a valuable price.
- Vina Santa Cruz: Consisting of a complete museum, an astronomical center, and a cable car to give you a ride through all through the mountains and to the ‚ÄėIndigenous Village‚Äô where several guides inform the viewers about the cultures and traditions of the Columbian people from Chile. A tour of the vineyard and the operative areas is also provided. With an observatory that provides a collection of astronomical telescopes and also a nocturnal tour ‚Äėthrough the cosmos’.
The different types of Chile‚Äôs wines:
The wines that are produced in Chile are usually different from that of the ones that are produced in California and Australia. But they are never understated as that of the European wines. Red wines have always been the winning points for Chile. But the white ones are not anymore behind with the variety from the cooler regions of Chile. The names of the Chile‚Äôs wines are usually given after the variety of grape it comes from or the region or district it is produced in. The moderate yet reasonable prices for the basic wines range from $6 to $10 in the United States, providing the producers a good rate too. The following is a collection of some of the best wines that are produced in Chile. They are prized under various categories and make it to the top most of the times with their quality.
- Almaviva: This is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmenere, and Cabernet Franc and has some successful vintages. ¬†It is produced in Chile‚Äôs Maipo valley. Out of the blend of Bordeaux varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon rules in the quantity as well as quality. Almaviva can be an outcome of the mixture of two cultures Chilean and French. While Chile provides its viticultural property, France provides it with the traditional values and ethics. The outcome is an amazingly complex and elegant type of wine. The launch of this wine was a major push for the growth of Chilean wines in the region and worldwide.
- Antiyal and Kuyen: Made by the renowned winemaker Alvaro Espinoza come from Antiyal‚Äôs Maipo vineyards. Both of these Chilean wines are raging since several years getting high points and popularity in Chile and worldwide.
- Casa Lapostolle Clos Apalta: This red wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmenere and Petit Verdot. It has secured a lot of praises for the vintages 2005 through 2009. 2005 Clos Apalta was named the wine of the year in 2008 by Wine Spectator magazine.
- Concha y Toro Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon: Concha y Toro‚Äôs Don Melchor has always been named one of Chile‚Äôs best wines. ¬†The best available and rated now is the Year 2008. ¬†It comes from Chile‚Äôs Maipo Valley. It is also one of the most highly awarded wines in several years.
- Concha y Toro Terrunyo Cabernet Sauvignon: C&T has won a lot with this lot of the wine through the years. The main wine enthusiasts have also mentioned it to show certain exciting flavors with raspberries; cassis adds some blackberry flavors too. it gives an intensive feel to the consumer yet it is composed and very smooth.
- Errazuriz Don Maximiano 2006: This lot has bought huge scores in the range of 90‚Äôs with its 2005, 2006, and now its 2007 vintages. ¬†This is a blend that consists of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Shiraz. This comes from the Aconcagua valley vineyards.
- Montes 2005 Purple Angel: This Angel is a blend of 92% Carmenere and 8% Petit Verdot produced in the regions of Colchagua Valley. Out of the whole of this, 50% of the Carmenere comes from Montes‚Äô La Finca de Apalta estate, which brings in the sophistication and elite quality. The 50% of the Carmenere is bought from Montes‚Äô Archangel estate in Marchigue, bringing in the potency and the strength.
- Montes Alpha M 2010: In the last five years, this wine red blend has impressed the people around the world and also the critics. It is a very dark red color. Consists of a very elegant, dense and velvety texture with supple tannins. The wine is a harmonious structure, with the combination of a generous fruity expression and distinguished characters showing the aromas of red fruits, some cassis and with a touch of cinnamon and cedar. When tasted, the wine showcases the essence of vanilla and coffee. Also, the 5% of Petit Verdot gives an element of the complex nature it has. This is structured in order to keep it fresh for over 20 years.
- Santa Rita Casa Real Cabernet Sauvignon: This is a 100% Cabernet¬†Sauvignon wine which aims to obtain the major expression of the Alto Jahuel terroir. The viticulturally exceptional land produces the best of the grapes which are then transformed into the best wines by men who act as machines to transform it into its best form possible, giving out magnificent results. It is often termed as a mix of uniqueness and exclusiveness, with a limit that lasts long.
So, you now understand why the Chilean wines are so popular around the world. With the passing time, they are producing more and more varieties with increasingly successful results.