Chilean Wine and Grape Varieties

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007 at 12:00 am

Chile wineChile takes pride in the quality of its wine production. The many vineyards in the country plant a wide variety of grapes that are processed to later become Chile’s best know wines. Aside form cultivating traditional grape varieties, the local wine industry in Chile is trying to diversify its current line of quality wines by trying to develop new varieties to grow as well as discover new blends.

The most important grape variety being grown, and so far the most well-known in Chile’s wine industry, is the cultivation of the Cabernet Sauvignon grape variety. This red grape variety is what becomes one of Chile’s best known quality red wines. Most notable of the wines that is produced come from the grape variety that is a cross between California and Bordeaux, creating a wine that delivers a fruity richness accompanied with a firm yet well-balanced tannins.

Another grape variety being grown in most Chilean vineyards is the Merlot. Chardonnay is also a grape variety that every vineyard in Chile seems to be planting. Other grape varieties that can be found in some of Chile’s prized vineyards are the Semillon, Malbec, Pinot Noir, and the Sauvignon Vert. These wide variety of grapes being grown has made Chile create a wide selection of wine blend that make it truly of special quality.

Chile is best known all over the world for its own blend of the Cabernet Sauvignon grape. The wine styles that Chile’s vineyards produce usually try to target the American wine market, which is known for consuming wines that are made from the recognizable grape varieties such as Cabernet and Chardonnay. What gives the country a distinct advantage in the wine market is that it can sell such wines at a fairly reasonable price. That is why the US still remains to be the prime importer of Chile’s quality wine produce.

To date Chile has over a hundred thousand hectares allocated to grape cultivation. Cabernet Sauvignon makes up a third of that total area. Merlot is also one of the most recognizable and popular grape varieties made into Chile’s fine quality wines. Most of the wine production in Chile is focused on the processing of fine red wines. About three quarters of Chile’s total production is composed if fine red wines. The rest are reserved for the production of fine white wines that are also notable in them being distinctly of Chilean blends.