10 Facts you need to know about Chilean Wine
1. Chile is a virtual grape growing paradise. The Andes mountains to the East, the Pacific to the West, a desert to the North, and Anatartica to the south makes the ideal grape growing climate.
2. This climate is so ideal that a large number of growers forego traditional pesticides and are organic!
3. The combination of the warmth of the sun, plus the cool breezes blowing off the ocean makes wines that are both very ripe and fruity and with great acidity! Other wine regions strive to achieve this.
4. Since it is a paradise for grapes and the cost of labor is relatively low, you will find some fantastic value Chilean wines.
5. Chile’s environment is so favorable, that there has never been a large scale outbreak of Phylloxera – the aphid bug that ate its way through 40% of the vineyards in France!
6. Spanish conquistadors brought vines with them in the 16th century when the colonized Chile
7. However, Chile’s wine is more closely linked to France. Wealthy Chileans travelled to France mere decades before phylloxera broke out and brought back cuttings of French varietals, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc.
8. The main Chilean wine regions are (from North to South):
- Coquimbo (Elqui, Limari, Choapa)
- Aconcagua (Aconcagua, Casablanca, San Antonio)
- Central Valley (Maipo, Cachopoal, Curicó, Maule)
- Southern (Itata, Bio-Bio, Malleco)
9. Many famous French winemakers and domaines have started making wine in Chile including: Robert Mondavi, Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Chateau Cos d’Estournel, Chateau Mouton Rothschild
10. A melange of French and Spanish varietals are grown in Chile (over 20) including: Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and Pedro Ximénez!