Grand landscapes, Mediterranean temperatures, and fertile soil that’s been nurtured by limestone and Andean volcanic rock are the perfect recipe for Chile’s viticulture. 

With grapes that have a personality of their own - and even a rare Bordeaux. We’ll go into what makes Chilean wines so unique and why your next favorite wine may just be a spring pressing. 

Chilean Grapes: The Forbidden Wines

Chile is known around the world for its “New World” viticulture. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Chile’s long wine history began in the middle of the 16th century. 

Conquistadors and missionaries transported several vines, known as “the common black grape” from Spain.

Jesuit priests were the first to plant vineyards. As their popularity grew and disrupted the Spanish trade, Spain forbade the Chilean wines. 

Locals could only drink their own wine after first purchasing a majority of the Spanish blends. Which had often spoiled and tasted vinegary after the long voyage. 

The locals ignored the mandate and continued to cultivate and export their own grapes and wines.

Spain learned about the ruse when Sir Francis Drake captured a shipment to Peru in 1578. They demanded the grapes to be uprooted and destroyed. Luckily for us, the locals ignored the edict and continued to cultivate the delicious sweet wines known around the world as País and Muscatel.

Chilean Wine Country

Chile’s unique geography and climate is in large part why their wines are so successful. Many of their varietals (like the Malbec) thrive in the dry, hot, high altitudes. 

With the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Andean mountain range to the east, the Chilean vineyards are protected from the elements. 

The grapes bask in the cool winds from the Pacific during the day, while the Andes help preserve their acidity during the night. 

Here, in this perfect vine growing climate, the grapes thrive in volcanic rich soil and Mediterranean temperatures.

Like our other spring region, South Africa, Chile has combined traditional winemaking with the latest in technology. 

From organic methods to biodynamics, Chile is leading the way in sustainable wine production. 

Combined with the mineral rich soil and the new techniques, Chilean wines have been making a splash with wine lovers around the world for decades. 

The Curicó Valley

Make Wine With Us works with family-owned vineyards from the Curicó Valley. 
Located 115 miles from Santiago, it’s responsible for more grape varietals than anywhere else in Chile. 

The success comes in part to the fertile volcanic and limestone rich soil. 

Wines from this region have prolonged black fruit-forward notes, elegant aromas, and a fleshy palate that all combine to create a satisfying and delicious finish. 

These grapes are dependable, consistent, and possess a bold character.

Grown along the banks of the Teno river, one of Chile’s most successful varietals thrives. 

The valley’s alluvial soil is home to one of the world’s finest examples of the rare Carménère. 

Nuanced, Flavorful, and Award-Winning Wines

Chile’s climate, geography, and growing techniques are the perfect combination for their impressive wine grapes. 

Award-winning reds like Carménère, Malbec, Syrah, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon consistently top the world’s best lists. 

Why? Chilean wines are aromatic, possess a depth of flavor, and have a unique texture. 

While some may find the tannins too intense, that’s great news for connoisseurs with wine cellars or fridges.

High quality Chilean wine blends are perfect for aging 15-25 years. Currently, both 2014 and 2018s are widely recognized as fantastic vintages.

Harvest Begins Soon

Harvest time in the Curicó Valley begins in early March. Once they are collected, the grapes are packed and refrigerated for their journey north. We contact the winemakers before the grapes arrive, so they know when to expect them. 

Make Wine With Us recommends either the Carménère or the Malbec for your next Chilean wine. 

We can’t wait to help you find your new favorite wine.