Wines from Aconcagua Valley
Lovingly Made Wines
Chile has five principal wine regions within it and the Aconcagua Valley is one among them.
The history of the Chilean wine industry says that this region was long thought to be a hotter and drier valley not suitable for vine cultivation.
This region is located at about sixty miles from the capital town Santiago towards its northern side. But today, this is not the case!
Chile is becoming one of the important wine regions in the world, and Aconcagua Valley is having almost 952 hectares of vineyards now.
So, let’s have a closer look at the viticulture that is taking place in this wine region here…
A Quick Look at the History of Viticulture in Aconcagua Valley
As I mentioned above, this region was considered not suitable for viticulture for years.
This myth was broken when Don Maximiano Errazuriz, the wine pioneer planted the first vine cuttings here.
During that time, the following varieties seemed to thrive well in the Aconcagua Valley:
- Cabernet Sauvignon
Even today, the winery that was established by Errazuriz is found to be occupying a larger part of the valleys wine region, although some other producers have joined the production in the recent times.
The most famous wine of the Aconcagua Valley is found to be the Sena, which was jointly produced by Vina Errazuriz and Robert Mondavi. This wine was ranked second at the Berlin Tasting of the year 2004.
The grapes that were used to produce this specialty wine were from a single vineyard, which is located in the heart of the valley with a distinctive mesoclimate.
Viewing Aconcagua Valley as a Viticultural Zone
As a wine region, this valley is found to be encompassing all the vine growing areas in the Valparaíso Region.
Within the valley, there are three smaller wine districts, which are namely:
- Casablanca Valley
- Aconcagua Valley
- Leyda Valley
The history says that the valley has acquired its name from the eponymous river, which in turn got its name from Mount Aconcagua. As such, the valley is found to be sixty miles in length with its major wine growing areas lying closer to the river.
Most of the vineyards of this valley are found to be located at the heights of 50 to 1000 meters above the sea level.
At present, this region is identified as a DO wine region that is defined by the wine appellation system of Chile.
Geography and Climate of Aconcagua Valley
The topography of the Aconcagua Valley is found to be in line with the other wine growing regions of Chile. However, the climate in the region is observed to be quite distinct.
Here, the warmer and drier lands are found to get heated up during the afternoons.
As such, the hotter air from the eastern side raises upwards thereby sucking cooler air from the giant Pacific Ocean. This action will get reversed during the evenings.
As a result of these daily breezes, we can see that the higher temperatures of the Aconcagua Valley are moderated thus, reducing the risk of vine diseases.
Moreover, the valley is supplied with melted water from the snow-capped peak of Mount Aconcagua and the other surrounding mountains.
When we had a look at the soils of the Aconcagua Valley, we can understand that the eastern parts of the valley are having clayey and sandy types of soil whereas, the western parts have granite and clayey types.
Grape Varieties of Aconcagua Valley
The major varieties of the valley are:
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Sauvignon Blanc
- Pinot Noir
Of these, the Cabernet Sauvignon is occupying the majority of vineyards at almost 303 hectares. This is followed by Syrah at about 155 hectares of vineyards.
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..