Vineyards surround Chile’s capital of Santiago. In the 19th century, Santiago’s rich moved to the valley around Santiago to try their hand as a landowner. They planted vineyards and built large estates. Despite Santiago’s growth and rapid consumption of arable land the Maipo Valley still thrives. It lies between the Andes and the coastal mountains, which keep the climate dry and sunny. Some of the best vineyards are planted at elevations above 2,000 feet at the foothills of the Andes which gives hot days and cool nights, which helps build rich, complex, balanced wines.
This region is regarded with great respect as it is considered the heart of Chile’s wine-making tradition. Fine Cabernet Sauvignon is grown on over 60% of 10,800 total hectares (26,700 acres) here (as of 2011). Others varieties include Merlot and the exquisite Camenère (Chile’s signature red grape), as well as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. For more details about the Maipo Valley, visit the Wines of Chile web page .
Some wines from the Maipo Valley that you may have enjoyed in BC include:
- Santa Rita Cabernet Sauvignon
- Carmen Carmenere
- Cousino Macul Cabernet Sauvignon
- Gran Tarapaca Merlot
- Santa Rita Medalla Real
- Undurraga Merlot
- Arboleda NV Cabernet Sauvignon
- Concha y Toro Chardonnay
Chilean wines offer great price points for wines with delicious fruit and silky mouthfeel. If you haven’t tried Chilean wines, give them a try. The wines from Santa Rita are readily available at multiple price points.
A few of my Past Chilean Wine Articles
- What’s New at Santa Rita Winery?
- Wines of Chile – Terroir Seminar 2013
- My Chilean Wine Picks from the VPIWF 2012
- MyWinePal Visits Chile – October 2009, Part 1