Chile is located along the west coast of South America, between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. On this great extension of 4200 kilometers, it is possible to find an enormous variety of landscapes and climates, from the Atacama Desert to the north; known as the driest dessert in the world through to the ancient glaciers and the Patagonia to the south.
Chile is considered the longest and narrowest country on the planet with a total superficies of 2,006,096 square kilometers, including the Chilean Antarctic territory.
Chile benefits from almost all types of climates, thanks to its long territory. The north has a dry climate with relatively high temperatures, while the south is cooler and has greater rain fall.
This Mediterranean climate and the interaction of the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountains create perfect temperatures for successful grape growing areas in the Central Valley.
Deserts, mountains, large rivers, lakes and glaciers are part of the Chilean geography, divided from north to south. High Andes peaks and deep oceans extend from the Atacama Desert, the driest in the world, to Antarctica, at the end of the world.
Its long coastline reaches over 4,000 kilometers. Its terrain is rugged and mountainous, no more than 20% of the country's surface is flat.
As a result of the Antarctic Humboldt Current, waters are generally colder than in the south and centre of the country, while in the north, the temperature increases due to tropical flows.
Finally, the imposing Andes mountain range, the backbone of Chile, emerging from Colombia and reaching an average height of 5,000 meters. It begins to descend to the South of Santiago, disappearing at the southern tip of the continent, only to reappear again in Antarctica.
The most prominent peak and the highest volcano in the world called Ojos Del Salado with an altitude of 6893 meters.
The indigenous tradition with the Spanish colonial contribution gives the initial shapes for the Chilean cuisine. Over the course of history, the country has been under European culture contributions, also by Germans, French and Italian immigrants. Today´s cuisine is known for its varied flavours, resulting from geographical diversity across the country, and always enjoyed with a good glass of wine.
Chile may seem like a newcomer into the world of wine, but its viticulture roots reach as far back in time as before the arrival of the first Spanish conquerors. In Chile, Spaniards found the ideal place to plant vines, since the local soil and the climate allowed a perfect growing season and ripening of the fruit. By mid-19th century, the first major change to Chilean wines began to take hold. The economy — strongly based on agriculture and mining — evolved greatly.
Wealthy businessmen started looking at France as a model, and rich families travelled abroad, where they explored the French wines and châteaux. Thrilled by the possibility of replicating them back home, they imported a selection of the finest rootstocks to Chile, just a few decades before the big phylloxera outbreak in the Old World.
In Chile, these rootstocks grew on its own roots, which turned out to be very valuable genetic material. It also allowed Carmenère to thrive hidden among Merlot for over a century, even after its near extinction in France. Last century, at the beginning of the 1980s, well-known Spanish winemaker Miguel Torres arrived in Chile and started making wines in the Curico Region.
With his arrival, a new era of wine making began in Chile. He was the first to introduce state of the art technologies such as stainless steel tanks and French oak barrels, and to transform the wine-making processes.
Torres’ example was soon followed by Chilean winemakers, which subsequently led to an increase of new plantations and, from 1990, onward, to a steady growth in wine sales abroad. These days, oenologists and viticulturists are working closely together to obtain the best possible fruit.
In doing so, they have also discovered completely new growing areas, away from the more traditional regions. Vines are grown higher in the Andes or in more coastal region in search for freshness.
More extreme regions, such as Chile’s North or South, where vine growing was once unthinkable, are also being explored, as winemakers continue to look for places that will give our wines a unique sense of origin.