Chile: more than just a one-trick pony

Carmenère and Cabernet Sauvignon may steal the headlines, but Chile’s wealth of diverse terroirs is helping to raise the profile of other styles, from old bush vine Carignan to cool climate whites.

Chile-GouchoChile’s allure as a wine producing country lies in its dizzying diversity. Shaped like a long, thin brushstroke stretching along the southwestern coast of South America, Chile is a land of extremes. Home to both the driest desert in the world, the Atacama, and the Patagonian ice fields, a wide variety of grapes grow up and down Chile’s strip against a backdrop of the Andes mountains – Chile’s backbone.

Home to a mosaic of unique terroirs, Chile offers a vast array of climatic conditions for an eclectic mix of grape varieties, many of which benefit from free air conditioning in the form of the cooling influence of the Pacific Ocean. But which grapes are thriving where, and which are leading the charge in terms of producing terroir- driven wines that sing of Chile’s soils and the salty air from its wind-whipped lands soothed by the Pacific?

Chile has around 125,000 hectares under vine, though with grape growers expanding eastward up the Andean hillsides and westward to the very edges of the country, plantings are on the rise. Despite its bounty of pre-phylloxera vines, a number of forward thinking producers are bringing new clones into Chile and are choosing to work with selected rootstocks.

Red varieties rule the roost, accounting for 71% of the country’s vineyard land, with Cabernet Sauvignon the most widely planted red grape at 40,728 hectares under vine. Merlot comes in second with 10,041ha across the country, while Chile’s flagship grape, Carmenère, is third, with 8,827ha. As for the whites, Chardonnay leads the pack with 13,082ha under vine, followed closely by Sauvignon Blanc on 12,159ha, though progress is also being made with Riesling in Bío Bío, Viognier and Gewurztraminer in Casablanca and even Sauvignon Gris in San Antonio.

One Response to “Chile: more than just a one-trick pony”

  1. yuki saito says:

    I have always been a believer in Chilean wine and after visiting its wine regions this December, meeting impressive winemakers and terrors, I am a fan of Chilean wine. True that they are figuring out the future course but I am confident that they will get it right and in time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Account Manager - Manchester

Black Fire Tequila
Manchester, UK

Marylebone Sales Manager

Philglas & Swiggot
Marylebone, London

Sales Administrator

Les Caves de Pyrène
Guildford, UK

General Manager

3Cs Cider
UK

Liquid Production Assistant

Atom Group
Tonbridge, UK

Brand Manager

Hallgarten Druitt
Luton, UK

Brand Manager

Kilchoman Distillery Co Ltd
Edinburgh, UK

Wine Bar Supervisor

Henny's
London, UK

Partner Manager - On-trade - North West

Maverick Drinks
Manchester, UK

Partner Manager - On-trade - Scotland and NE

Maverick Drinks
Edinburgh, UK

Pays d'Oc Tasting

London,United Kingdom
28th Jun 2018

CHILE: From The Very Top To The Downright Hot

Manchester,United Kingdom
2nd Jul 2018

CHILE: From The Very Top To The Downright Hot

Edinburgh,United Kingdom
3rd Jul 2018
Click to view more

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

the drinks business is proud to announce the inaugural Global Malbec Masters 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

the drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Sparkling Masters.

Click to view more