The prominent regions of the Chile wine map occupy a thin strip down the western coast of the country between the Andes mountains and the Pacific Ocean, which has been described as a ‘winegrower’s paradise’.
While poor quality grapes for domestic consumption once dominated the country, Chile now produces several internationally acclaimed styles, especially its noted Cabernet Sauvignon blends.
The Chile wine regions map can essentially be divided into three distinct sections: North, Central and South. While the North and South regions are still being developed by some innovative wine making techniques, the Central region is traditionally where most of the country’s vineyards are found.
At Wine Paths, our local experts can organise exclusive wine tours across the wine map of Chile, which can include elaborate tastings, luxury stays, fine dining experiences and unique activities. All of our private tours can be tailor-made to meet your exact specifications, while ensuring every detail is taken care of before you set foot on South American soil. To help you plot a course through the Chilean wine map, here is an overview of all the regions from north to south:
The Elqui Valley is among the most beautiful places to visit on the Chile regions map. Syrah is the most successful international grape variety grown here, while visitors are also drawn by Chile’s most popular liquor, pisco brandy. The Limari Valley is a hot and dry region northwest of the capital Santiago, which has attracted investment form three of the country’s largest wineries: Concha y Toro, San Pedro and Santa Rita. Chardonnay is signature grape here, along with Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
One of the newest regions on the Chile wine map is the Choapa Valley, which has a terroir suited to both Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah but is yet to have any established wineries within its boundaries. The Aconcagua Valley takes its name from the highest mountain peak in South America. It is one of the warmest regions on the Chilean wine map, but the cooler temperatures at higher altitudes produce a range of Bordeaux-style blends from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Carménère.
The Casablanca Valley is the first of the newer wine regions that have been established on the Chile wine map. Part of the region produces fine Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc whites, while the Merlot and Pinot Noirs come from the more mountainous section. Further south, the San Antonio Valley is being heralded as one of the most exciting new wine regions of Chile – producing some of the finest Pinot Noir outside of Burgundy.
The Maipo Valley is the leading region of the Chile wine map, not least because of its closeness to the capital Santiago. Vineyards here are cooled by ocean winds to create full-bodied Californian style reds from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot varieties. Cachapoal is the more northern of the two transverse valleys, where 90% of the vineyards produce red grape varieties, especially Cabernet Sauvignon – while it is also the best place to try Chilean Syrah.
The southern transverse valley of Colchagua is where you will find some of the world’s most revered single varietal Carménère as well as well aged Bordeaux-style blends with rich flavours. The Curico Valley, featuring Teno in the north and Lontue in the southern part of the wine map Chile has, was the preferred destination of renowned Spanish wine maker Miguel Torres when he began his foray into the country in the late 1970s – with Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc being the main grapes.
The Maule Valley is the largest region by area and the most southern of the country’s important vineyards. The sheer scale of the region gives rise to an assortment of diverse vineyards ranging from Cabernet Sauvignon to Sauvignon Blanc. Further south in the Chile wine regions map, the Itata Valley has been historically associated with plantings of Pais, Muscat of Alexandria and Carignan, although more modern varieties are starting to make an appearance.
The Bio Bio Valley has enjoyed a renaissance since the turn of the century by producing exceptional light-skinned varieties including Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Viognier that have received applause on the international stage. Finally, the Malleco Valley presents wine growers with a series of climatic challenges and is still in its embryonic stages despite several of its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir varietals attracting attention.
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