Wine Regions

Chilean Wine

Chilean wine has been produced since the 16th century & is produced in diverse climates & styles. Learn about the best wineries, top wine varieties & …

Chilean wine has been produced since the 16th century when the Spanish brought vines in their mix of agriculture planting during colonisation. The Chilean wine industry didn’t really see more serious expansion beyond small-scale production until the 19th century, when French grape varieties were introduced to the country. Chilean wineries came to international attention during the late 1970s and early 1980s, with a leap of quality, volume and export potential with the advent of scientific intervention in Chilean wine growing areas.

Chilean wineries now are the fifth largest exporters of wine globally and in the top ten of largest volume producers of wine in the world. Chilean wine varieties include Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, perhaps the most famous white grape of Chilean wineries, and Chilean wine red grapes include the well-known Carmenere, alongside Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Chilean wine brands are well known for their value and quality at lower price points in the market.

Get to Chile

Chilean wine growing regions are accessible via major airport hubs, including Santiago, which is often seen as the gateway to the Central Valley, the major region for Chilean wineries. Central Valley is where Chilean wine Maipo Valley is a sub-region, perhaps Chilean wine most important location for wine production. 

Climate and style in Chile

Chilean wine is produced in a diverse spectrum of climates and styles. Chilean wine brands are found from the very cold south of the country to the hot and dry north of the Chilean wine country map. Chilean wine is influenced by proximity to the Andres mountains, which help to produce cool nights to counter warmer days. This diurnal variation accounts for the high natural acidity possible from Chilean wine varieties.

Chilean wine styles vary from region to region, with wines produced in the northern Chilean wine country map notably richer, more concentrated and powerful than those from the cool south, where Chilean wine is usually more elegant and restrained. Chilean wine white grape-based is often made in stainless steel tanks for maximum fruitiness and freshness, where Chilean wine red grape wines are often generously oaked, or produced with generous flavour intended.

Key Chile Varietals

Chilean wine grape varieties are increasingly numerous, with a mix of mostly Spanish and French varieties prominent. Chilean wine blends and single variety Chilean wine is made predominately from Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Chardonnay, Carmenere and Cabernet France, but other varieties such as Syrah, Carignan, Pinot Noir, Semillon, Riesling and Viognier are also notable.

Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon

Chilean wine made from Cabernet Sauvignon is considered the flagship of Chilean wineries, for the most part. Chilean wine produced from Cabernet Sauvignon is typically smooth and soft, showing rich dark fruit characters with liquorice, mint, black olive fruit notes accompanying. The Chilean wine produced from Cabernet Sauvignon is mostly produced in very ‘New World’, upfront and fruit driven styles.

Chilean Sauvignon Blanc

Of all Chilean wine white grape based most readily recognised are Sauvignon Blanc wines Sauvignon Blanc from Chilean wineries is typically tropical fruit-orientated, easy drinking, crisp in acidity and produced in stainless steel to maximise youth and freshness in these accessible and generally good value wines. Chilean wine made from Sauvignon Blanc is seen as a ‘threat’ to the global dominance of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

Chilean Wine

Chilean Merlot

Chilean wine made from Merlot grapes is well regarded. Chilean wineries producing Merlot have focused on plush, velvety-textured wines of soft, plummy fruit character, often with suggestions of chocolate or coffee. These are easy drinking, often very affordable wine styles.

Chile wineries

Chilean wineries are mostly modern and heavily invested in, looking to produce vibrant, New World wines at affordable price points. Chilean wineries have benefited from long associations with flying winemakers and winemaker consultants, who have helped fine tune the Chilean wine industry over several decades.

Notable Chilean wine Australia bound includes Montes, Casillero Del Diablo, Frontera, O. Fournier, Casa Marin, Amayna, Millaman, Maquis, Aquitania and Vina Quintay.

The future of Chile

Chilean wine versus Australian wine is a vexing issue for many drinkers looking for affordable, generously flavoured, fruit-forward white and red wines. Chilean wine produced from noble grape varieties offer an accessible, ready-to-drink experience, often with very high quality and fruitiness to the fore. Chilean wineries are increasingly prevalent in the international market, and a go-to for those looking for bargains, but with flavour on their side. Chilean wine will only strengthen its position as one of the world’s great bargain wine producers.