Chile's culture and identity are deep-rooted in the fertile terroir that has become the seventh largest wine producer in the world. The Capital city of Santiago is considered to be one of the top ten great wine capitals. Considered a “New World” wine producer as the Vitis vinifera vines were brought over by the Spanish in the 1600’s, the wine valleys of Chile offer perfect conditions for growing some of the most recognized grape varietals, from Cabernet Sauvignon to Merlot however the most distinct grape which has now become Chile’s signature wine is the Carmenere.
A celebrated grape recognized for its dark color and incredibly distinct and sharp taste, the Carmenere grape thought once to be extinct remained strong in the valleys of Chile. In 1998, it was recognized by the Chilean government as a specific variety and now in its honor they celebrate International Day of Carmenere.
Chile’s Wine tourism has also taken off in recent years, the terrain and the vast landscapes ranging from the Atacama desert to the pacific ocean create the ideal setting for the traveler in search of a diverse destination. The wine producing areas are plentiful, the Maipo Andes known for its Cabernet Sauvignon after the French introduced the Bordeaux grape in the 1900’s. Several of the finest Cabernet-based wines come from this region. Northwest of Santiago, the Casablanca Valley will delight you with some wonderful Sauvignon Blancs and Chardonnays. All in all, the wine culture of Chile is as diverse as the rich terrain of this country.
The New World wine region of Chile has been nominated as a finalist in the category of Emerging Enotourism Destination in the FIBEGA Gastronomy Tourism Awards. Winners will be presented during FIBEGA Miami May 10 – 12, 2019 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.