Chilean wine enjoys a long and rich history – a result of its perfect viticultural climate.
The main feature of the Chilean growing regions is the intense heat. It is this, together with its dramatic topography, which creates what we might call the “Chilean signature”. Take Pinot Noir, which here tends to be higher in alcohol next to examples from other countries. This is due to a high sugar content in the grapes, delivered by the balmy ripening process. The results are those typical, satisfying rich fruit flavours and full body.
In the face of this powerful heat, the long coastline is a blessing for the vineyards. The Pacific brings rainfall, cloud cover and breezes, which cool the vines and lengthen ripening. This prompts the vine to retain its grapes’ acidity, while building flavour compounds.
Chilean wine makers like Terrapura have a vast choice of growing areas. The valleys of the Coastal Ranges move cool weather from the Pacific, while rivers from the Andes bring nutritious volcanic soil and limestone.
Chile has championed Carmenere. This was previously a grape of Bordeaux, discovered in 19th century Merlot vineyards. Since then, it has flourished into a Chilean staple which shows off the spirit of its wines.
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