Chile: more than just a one-trick pony

29th May, 2013 by Lucy Shaw - This article is over multiple pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

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 *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

PR Account Executive

Clementine Communications Ltd
Fulham, UK

PR Senior Account Manager

Clementine Communications Ltd
Fulham, London

Marketing Manager

Berkmann Wine Cellars
London, N7, UK

Brand Manager

Berkmann Wine Cellars
London, N7, UK

Sales Account Manager

Jascots Wine Merchants
London, UK

Marylebone Sales Manager

Philglas & Swiggot
Marylebone, London, UK

Area Sales Manager

Bon Coeur Fine Wines
North England, UK

Procurement Assistant – Wine

Adnams PLC
Southwold, UK

Account Manager Central London

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

Brand Ambassador

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

National Business Development Manager

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

Marketing Assistant

Hatch Mansfield
Ascot, Berkshire, UK

Marketing Manager

Bancroft Wines
London, UK

Regional Sales Manager – Scotland

Bancroft Wines
London, UK

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 25th August 2017

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

Deadline : 25th August 2017

Global Chardonnay Masters 2017

Deadline : 1st September 2017

The Global Sauvignon Blanc Masters 2017

Deadline : 1st September 2017

Click to view more

The Global Rosé Masters 2017

With wines from the palest of pink to almost ruby red, bone dry to almost cloyingly sweet, reductively handled to barrel-aged, as well as gently spritzy to fully sparkling.

The Global Organic Masters 2017

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

The Drinks Business Awards 2017

Now in its 15th year, the db awards have become the most authoritative, internationally respected badge of achievement in the alcoholic drinks industry.

The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2017

the drinks business Hong Kong announces its first year of The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters.

Click to view more