Learn about Chilean wine, common tasting notes, where the region is and more ...
Long and narrow, with a coastline along the entire western side and the Andes Mountains along the eastern border, Chile remains an exciting frontier for wines of all styles. While the country’s wine regions do vary from north to south (a length of 2,700 miles), the most dramatic changes in climate and geography occur from its mountainous eastern side, to its western coastline, less than 100 miles away.
Chile’s central valleys, sheltered by the costal ranges, and in some parts climbing the eastern slopes of the Andes, remain relatively warm and dry. The conditions are ideal for producing concentrated, full-bodied, aromatic reds rich in black and red fruits. The eponymous Aconcagua Valley—hot and dry—is home to intense red wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot.
Chilly breezes from the Antarctic Humboldt Current allow the coastal regions of Casablanca Valley and San Antonio Valley to focus on the cool-climate loving varieties, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Chile’s Coquimbo region in the far north, containing the Elqui and Limari Valleys, historically focused solely on Pisco production. But here the minimal rainfall, intense sunlight and chilly ocean breezes allow success with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The up-and-coming southern regions of Bio Bio and Itata in the south make excellent Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Spanish settlers, Juan Jufre and Diego Garcia de Cáceres, most likely brought Vitis vinifera (Europe’s wine producing vine species) to the Central Valley of Chile sometime in the 1550s. One fun fact about Chile is that its natural geographical borders have allowed it to avoid phylloxera and as a result, vines are often planted on their own rootstock rather than grafted.
Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon 2006Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile
Haras de Pirque Albis 2006Bordeaux Red Blends from Maipo Valley, Chile