Chile is a long and narrow country defined by its geographic barriers. Stretching over 4,300km and with desert to the north, the Andes Mountains to the east, Patagonia to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west Chile has, unsurprisingly, a wide range of climates. The Humboldt Current that descends from Peru creates a permanent chilling effect and when coupled with the South Pacific anticyclone a temperate Mediterranean climate forms in the middle of the country around Santiago. Predictably this is where most of Chile’s vineyards are found.

The climate here is dry with an average of 15 inches rainfall, very little risk of springtime frost, and an average temperature of between 15-18 degrees Celsius, making it an ideal place to grow grapes. Although temperatures can reach as high as 30 degrees in the summer, close proximity to the Andes as well as a series of transversal river valleys help create a wide diurnal range which is vital to maintaining acidity and freshness. The vast majority of Chile’s wine regions including those in the central valley require irrigating, and the melting snow caps of the Andes provide a convenient source of water. One look at the surrounding hillsides covered in vines and lush vegetation and it is apparent that this is rich and fertile region.

Chile Wine List

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Chile Producers

The wines from these regions run the gamut between easy drinking everyday wines to well-thought through, laboured over, finely crafted creations. Granted, the majority of production is centred around red, single varietal wines that offer great value for money, but there is an ever-increasing number of serious, quality-focused vintners who are making use of the exceptional terroir in these countries that have frequently been alluded to as a wine-growers utopia.

Appellations of Chile

Chile is a land of many valleys and has had wine coming out of several notable areas for a long time - the Maipo, Colchagua and Maule Valleys, for example, have centuries of winemaking history whereas the Casablanca Valley saw its first grapes planted in only the 1980s.

Grape Varieties of Chile

Chile remains at the forefront of the reliable, affordable wine market and seems to go from strength to strength, year after year.