It is practically a cliché: Chilean wine offers great quality for the price. How does Chile do it?
Well, this long sliver of a country, pinched between the Pacific Ocean and the towering Andean Mountains, has several things going for it. Not least among them, it combines incredibly favorable growing conditions with state-of-the-art winemaking techniques. On top of that, Chile adds relatively inexpensive land and low production costs, making Chilean wines among the best values around.
What's more, as an emerging wine region, Chile is largely unburdened by the inertia of tradition. The Chilean industry is nimble on its feet, lithe enough to respond to what international wine drinkers crave. Today, Chile excels at the world’s most popular varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Syrah. It also works magic with its signature grape, Carmenere.
Chilean Wine Regions
Most of Chile's vineyards are contained in the roughly 300-mile long Central Valley that runs between the Andes and Coastal mountain ranges in the center of the country. This area is crisscrossed by several raging rivers that drain snowmelt from the mountains, and brings water to thirsty vines.
Let's take a look at some of Chile's most exciting winemaking regions and match some recipes with the wines that are being made there.