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Central Valley Wine Region

The Largest Wine Region in Chile

Central Valley is among the largest wine regions in Chile, stretching from the ‘Maipo Valley’ in the north to the ‘Maule Valley’ in the south.

It is also one of the most important wine regions in the whole South American Continent when it comes to the quantity of wine production.

This region, which is about 400 kilometers in distance, is producing a wide range of wine styles.

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Also, it is found to be home to a variety of grapes, although the plantings are being dominated by the international varieties.

Let’s have a look at the viticulture of Central Valley here…

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Remember to read the Wine Tasting guide…

Sub-Regions of Central Valley:

As this huge region has various types of terroirs and microclimates within it, it’s difficult to see the viticulture in the Central Valley as a single entity.

So, I will divide the whole Central Valley into four sub-regions starting from north or south to explain about the viticulture in each part of the valley.

The sub-regions of the Central Valley are:

Maipo Valley

This is the part of the Central Valley that is located just south of Santiago. I would call this region as the home of prestigious wine and wine critics often describe this as the Bordeaux of South America.

The whole Maipo Valley can be further divided into three broader regions, which are namely:

  • Alto Maipo
  • Central Maipo
  • Maipo Bajo

Of these, Alto Maipo is bearing the most prestigious vineyards.

When it comes to grape varieties, richer and fruitier Cabernet Sauvignon is the most celebrated grape varieties here.

Apart from this, we can find some substantial plantings of Carmenere in the Central Maipo region.

The other grape varieties that can be seen in the Maipo Valley are:

Rapel Valley:

This is a larger wine-producing region in Central Valley and is accounting for most a quarter of the total wines from Chile.

This region again has two sub-regions, which are namely:

The Rapel valley as a whole is producing a wide variety of wine styles that ranges from everyday wines to the costliest wine styles.

In this region again, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere are among the key grape varieties along with Syrah in the list.

Although red varieties are found to be dominating in the Rapel valley wines, we can also find some white varieties like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc here.

Curicó Valley:

This, which is located in the central part of Chile, is again divided into two sub-regions which are:

  • Teno
  • Lontue

This part of the Central Valley is particularly famous for its everyday red wines from Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc grape varieties.

However, the vineyards in this part of the Central Valley are found to be planted with several varieties than anywhere in the country.

This can be attributed to the varied climatic conditions experienced by the valley.

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Maule Valley:

This is again a larger wine-producing region in the Central Valley, which is having 75,000 acres of land under vine cultivation.

Traditionally, this region has been associated with higher quantities of wine production.

But today, the high-yielding ‘Pais’ grape variety is being gradually replaced by the international varieties like ‘Cabernet Sauvignon’ and ‘Carmenere’.

Some of the world-class wines are also found to be produced here from ‘Carignan’ grape variety now.

The other plantations in the Maule valley include the following:

· Malbec
· Merlot
· Cabernet Franc
· Syrah
· Sauvignon Blanc
· Chardonnay
· Pinot Noir
· Mission

Experimental Grape Varieties of Central Valley:

Apart from the grape varieties that are mentioned above, there are some grape varieties which are in the experimental phase in the Central Valley. Such varieties are:

· Viognier
· Riesling
· Gewürztraminer

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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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