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Spanish conquistadors brought the grapevine to Chile in the sixteenth century and today the country is the world’s ninth largest producer of wine, and fifth in terms of exports.

In the centre of this long, thin country more than 112,000 hectares of high quality wine grapes benefit from sunny days, cool nights, diverse soil types and talented winemakers; everything needed to produce a wide range of excellent wines.

Red WineWhite WineGrowing Areas
Merlot has long been a favourite for producing Chilean red wine, though Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir are all widely grown too. Chilean Carmenere, long thought to be a clone of Merlot has made its home here, although originally a regular ingredient in most of the red wines of Bordeaux. Other varieties like Viognier, Sangiovese and Carignan are grown in small amounts and can be of excellent quality.
Nearly all the Chilean white wine exported to the UK is made from the well known European varieties: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and some Riesling and Gewurztraminer.
The traditional home of Chilean wine is the large expanse of fertile flatland in the centre of the country known as the Central Valley. The search for terroir has led winemakers to experiment with new varieties and seek out new and generally cooler places to plant them. Growers have climbed into the Andean foothills and west towards the Pacific, north towards the semi-arid mountainous regions and southward to the country’s agricultural extremes. Familiar names on bottles from Chile such as Limari, Aconcagua, Maipo, Casablanca, Colchagua and Curico can be found in all wine shops. More recent discoveries are regions such as Bio Bio Valley and Elqui as winemakers head further afield.

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