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Wine from Chile

Discovering the Wines from the Winegrowers’ Paradise – Chile

Chile in South America, which is often described as the winegrowers’ paradise, is the most important wine producer of the continent.

The wines produced here, which are called as ‘Chilean wines’, are coming in various flavors and styles.

It has been mentioned by several wine critics that the country is holding many secrets with regards to the rich geography.

The country is found to have a longer history of winemaking and is known to be the forerunner of the new generation wines.

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Being a wine lover, it’s always exciting for us to explore the viticulture and viniculture of a region. Let’s discover the wines from this important wine-producing country here…

Chile’s Topography and Viticulture:

Chile, which has occupied a thin strip of land along the west coast of the South American continent, is found to be diverse in terms of terroirs.

The country with the land area of about 4300 kilometers is running between the giant ‘Pacific Ocean’ and the ‘Andes Mountains’.

The placement of the land area of Chile is very much suitable for viticulture with the ocean, bringing cool breezes to the vineyards of coastal areas.

On the other hand, the mountain ranges are keeping the ‘Central Valley’ warm and dry.

I would say the perfect combination of natural barriers with the Mediterranean climate is responsible for the sustainability of the viniculture here.

It is because of this the country is taking a spot in the list of ‘biggest organic vineyards’ of the world.

Looking at the Wine Laws of Chile:

We could observe that the wine laws of Chile are more or less similar to the U.S. appellation system. The appellation system of Chile was first created in the year 1995 to enforce some boundaries to the wine regions.

In addition, the appellation system also established some regulations for the usage of wine labels.

What’s on the Chilean Wine Label?

As per the Chilean wine laws, the wine labels must indicate at least 75% of the grape variety, vintage and wine region. Yes, it means that up to 25% of the contents can be kept undisclosed.

However, in practice, we can see information of at least 85% of the bottles’ contents, thereby becoming legal to be distributed in the European Continent.

Winemaking Regulation in Chile:

According to the Chilean appellation system, there is no restriction for either the grape varieties or the viticultural practices. The only thing with the regulation is that the wines to be exported must meet the requirements in terms of alcohol content.

For the white wines, the minimum alcohol content is 12% whereas for the red wines, it is 11.5%.

Wines from Chile

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Understanding the Chilean Wine Labels:

In order to buy the right Chilean wine, we need to understand the basic labeling terms like the ‘Reserva Especial’ and ‘Gran Reserva’.

Both these represent the wine styles. These can be used on the wine labels if a particular wine has oak.

Here, the terms ‘especial’ and ‘reserva’ denote the aging duration. If it has been stated as ‘especial’, then the aging period of the wine would be two years, whereas ‘reserva’ denotes the four-year aging period.

Major Grape Varieties of Chile:

In Chile, there are more than 20 varieties of grapes being cultivated and a majority of them are found be from Spanish and French origins.

Some of the most widely planted grape varieties of Chile are:

· Cabernet Franc
· Cabernet Sauvignon
· Carignan
· Carménère
· Chardonnay
· Cinsaut
· Malbec
· Merlot
· Pais
· Petit Verdot
· Pinot Noir
· Riesling
· Sauvignon Blanc
· Sémillon
· Syrah
· Viognier
· Zinfandel
· Petite Sirah
· Sangiovese
· Barbera
· Sauvignon vert
· Torontel
· Pedro Ximénez
· Gewürztraminer
· Muscat

Author

Tharani Rajamanickam

Tharani Rajamanickam

Winewriter

I am Tharani, I have Bachelors degree in Biotechnology. I am passionate about the wine industry and continue to explore, learn and share and I bring in a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help you keep updated with best wines in the world. Stay tuned..

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