Primary Chilean red grape varieties:
Almost 75% of total plantings.
Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Carmenere Syrah Pais/Criolla
Primary Chilean white grape varieties:
Muscat of Alexandria
Varies from north to south.
Marine influence in spots/cooled by Humboldt current, but Valle Central is Desert (irrigation mandatory) due to coastal range rain-shadow effect.
Mostly alluvial and volcanic
Salinity issues due to irrigation necessity
Chile wine laws:
Ministry of agriculture determined the winemaking areas under Denominacion de Origen as (larger to smaller):
Terms ‘Costa’, ‘entre cordilleras’ or ‘Andes’ can be added to the appellations.
Only Vitis Vinifera (not hybrids) grape varieties allowed
Minimum ABV 11.5%
DO governs labeling of varieties and vintages
Grape variety: must contain minimum 75% of the stated variety.
Region name: must be minimum 75% from the stated region.
Vintage: must contain minimum 75% of the stated year.
Most wines conform to 85% laws determined by export markets (EU)
The major region in Chile is:
Valle Central facts:
The major growing region. Maipo Rapel: Cachapoal, Colchagua Curico: Teno, Lontue Maule: Claro, Loncomilla, Tutuven
Other Chile major regions:
Atacama (Copiapo, Huasco)
Coquimbo (Elqui, Limari, Choapa)
Aconcagua (Aconcagua, Casablanca, San Antonio, Leyda)
Valle Sur (Itata, Bio-Bio, Malleco)
Chile key sub-regions:
Maipo (in Valle Central):
Classic area for Cabernet Sauvignon
Casablanca (in Aconcagua): maritime influenced climate, cooler region for Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay