Chile has become the new El Dorado of South American wine. Despite difficult beginnings under the dictatorship of Pinochet, who prohibited its mass exportation, the country was able to catch up to its neighbours. Its numbers have simply exploded, rising to 40 million litres in 1990 to several hundreds of millions of litres nowadays.
Apart from the wines exclusively destined for the locals, the quality is, as a whole, very satisfactory. However, there are a few distinguishable vintages, such as Almaviva and Montes, which attest to the desire to produce wines that have their own identity.
The red wines are mostly made from the Merlot, Cabernet-Sauvignon, Carménčre and Cabernet-Franc grape varieties, while the white wines are produced using Sauvignon and Chardonnay grapes.
The American magazine, Shermans Travel, has listed the Colchaqua Valley as the second best wine tourism destination. Only Alsace is ahead of it.© Gil GIUGLIO
French investors have been active here for a long time now and important oenologists often play a role in the wineries.© Gil GIUGLIO
With a surface area of 425 mi˛, Chili is currently the 10th largest wine producer in the world and the 3rd largest importer, after the Italians and the French.© Gil GIUGLIO