Chile

Chile

Wine grapes (Vitis Vinifera) are not indigenous to Chile or indeed to the continent of South America; they were brought there by the Spanish Conquistadores, who were able to conquer most of the continent in the sixteenth century. The first trials to grow wine grapes were not successful, but in Chile they found the right climate.

The first Chilean wine was produced in 1548 and soon vineyards were planted from the Limari Valley in the north to the Bio Bio Valley in the south - roughly the same area that is still in use today.

 

Looking at the map it is instantly clear that Chile is a remarkable country. On average, it is no wider than 180 kilometers, but it is over 4,300 kilometers long! This means that there is an enormous diversity of climate zones, further enhanced by the mountainous character of the country, that makes Chile into a veritable chain of valleys.

 

Chile's wine country is situated between the mighty Andes Mountains in the east, the Pacific Ocean in the west, the Atacama Desert (driest place on Earth) in the north and the Antarctic south of the country. These natural borders have protected Chilean vineyards against disasters that rampaged through the European and North American vineyards, such as Phylloxera, for instance. Diseases have virtually no chance to take a foothold, meaning that chemical treatment can be kept to an absolute minimum.

 

Viticulture in Chile is deeply rooted in French wine growing traditions. In the nineteenth century, France was the holiday destination for the well-to-do Chilean gentlemen, and drinking wine was part of it. This explains why Chilean vineyards are dedicated almost exclusively to French grape varieties. For red wines Chile grows Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Pinot Noir and Carmenère predominantly, and for white wines we find Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier, plus a handful of others.

 

Carmenère can be considered a speciality, just like Zinfandel is for California, Pinotage for South Africa and Malbec for Argentina . And yet it is an ancient grape variety from the Bordeaux area. After the Phylloxera disaster it did not return in the Bordelais vineyards. The variety is sensitive to coulure (a condition that affects the setting of the fruit when the growing season is too cold, so a bunch can produce ripe and green berries at the same time) and was therefore abandoned. In Chile however the climate is perfect for Carmenère: it gives soft and round wines, a kind of spicy Merlot, as it were. It became famous in 1994, when an extensive ampelographic study proved that a lot of Chilean "Merlot" was, in fact, Carmenère.

 

 

 


  • Veramonte Reserva Merlot
    Veramonte Reserva Merlot
    Producer: Veramonte Grape variety: 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon Region: Casablanca Valley Read more
  • Veramonte Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon
    Veramonte Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon
    Producer: Veramonte Grape variety: 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot Region: Colchagua Valley Read more
  • Las Condes Sauvignon Blanc
    Las Condes Sauvignon Blanc
    Producer: Las Condes Grape variety: Sauvignon Blanc Region: Central Valley Read more
  • Las Condes Chardonnay
    Las Condes Chardonnay
    Producer: Las Condes Grape variety: Chardonnay Region: Central Valley Read more
  • Las Condes Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé
    Las Condes Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé
    Producer: Las Condes Grape variety: Cabernet Sauvignon Region: Central Valley Read more
  • Las Condes Merlot
    Las Condes Merlot
    Producer: Las Condes Grape variety: Merlot Region: Central Valley Read more
  • Las Condes Cabernet Sauvignon
    Las Condes Cabernet Sauvignon
    Producer: Las Condes Grape variety: Cabernet Sauvignon Region: Central Valley Read more
  • Veramonte Reserva Carmenère
    Veramonte Reserva Carmenère
    Producer: Veramonte Grape variety: 95% Carmenère, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon Region: Colchagua Valley Read more
  • Las Condes Carmenère
    Las Condes Carmenère
    Producer: Las Condes Grape variety: 100% Carmenère Region: Central Valley Read more
  • Veramonte Pinot Noir Ritual
    Veramonte Pinot Noir Ritual
    Producer: Veramonte Grape variety: - Region: Casablanca Valley Read more
  • Veramonte Reserva Sauvignon Blanc
    Veramonte Reserva Sauvignon Blanc
    Producer: Veramonte Grape variety: Sauvignon Blanc Region: Casablanca Valley Read more
  • Veramonte Reserva Chardonnay
    Veramonte Reserva Chardonnay
    Producer: Veramonte Grape variety: Chardonnay Region: Casablanca Valley Read more
  • Veramonte Primus
    Veramonte Primus
    Producer: Veramonte Grape variety: 23% Carménère, 47%Merlot and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon Region: Colchagua Valley Read more
  • Veramonte Reserva Pinot Noir
    Veramonte Reserva Pinot Noir
    Producer: Veramonte Grape variety: 100% Pinot Noir Region: Casablanca Valley Read more
  • Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc Ritual
    Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc Ritual
    Producer: Veramonte Grape variety: - Region: Casablanca Valley Read more
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