Long and thin, Chile has a lot of land north to south. The wine region here is a series of districts based near
Santiago. The vineyards are protected by the Pacific on the west and the Andes mountains on the east.
This could help explain why the climate changes more from east to west than north to south –
also why the country has remained phylloxera free.
There are many wineries in the country that were founded by large French wine companies.
Seeing the potential of the country, vineyards were bought and planted by these French folks and the results
tell of a smart investment. Some of these wineries include: Los Vascos, Casa Lapostolle and Cousino Macul.
The inspiration may have been French, but the wines here are quite Chilean.
The main regions of Chile include Maipo (pronounced MY-poh), known for reds like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignonand Carmenere;
Casablanca Valley, a newer region producing delicious
Sauvignon Blanc, as well as other whites & some
reds; Colchaugua, an even newer district creating amazing red wines from Syrahand Cabernet Sauvignon, particularly
in the Apalta sub-region; and Rapel Valley, settled right under Maipo and producing the same red varietals. Chilean
wines are growing in exports and more consumers are enjoying the delicious values coming from the country. Red
wines of the region, though they cannot be generalized, make the whole gamut of wine quality – quaffable to
collectible. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Carmenere are the main players, some Cabernet Sauvignon showing as
age-worthy as its California & French counterparts. Often at a better value. As for whites, Sauvignon
Blanc is typically crisp, herbal and racy, while
Chardonnayis richer in style with full-bodied texture
and tropical fruit flavors.