Chile has emerged as the king of wine exports. The progress of Chile's methods of cultivation and vinification should result in this country bringing the world wines that rank among the best in the world. Chilean wine has been exported to Europe since 1877, which continues to distribute 50% of Chile's wine exports. Chile has now become the third major wine importer to the USA by offering wines under familiar varieties at attractively low prices.
Chile was virtually the only wine producer in the world never to have been invaded by phylloxera. Chile's main protection lay in circumstances of its geography. Since the country is, in essence, one long, narrow strip of Pacific coast, nearly all of its soil is sand-based. Furthermore, the natural safeguard of its border with Argentina, the Andes Mountains, prevented what limited outbreaks of phylloxera arose in Argentina from spreading westwards.
There are five main regions in Chile are Aconcagua, Central Valley, South Valley, Coquimbo, and Atacama. The Valley of Maipo, a sub-region of Central Valley and home of Nido De Aguila Estate, is located near Santiago and was the first viticulture region that was formed and still has the majority concentration of the vineyards. Soil conditions in Maipo Valley vary, which produces the highest quality of wines in Chile, including outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot varieties. Casa Blanca and Viña del Mar are also well-known wine producing regions in Chile, especially for the quality of their white wines. Colchagua Valley was voted "Wine Region of the Year" in 2005, where the highly regarded El Huique estate is located.
Chilean wine producers increasingly work closely with French, Australian, Californian, and New Zealand winemakers to aid in the operation and production of higher quality wines. French varieties have had a strong presence in Chile, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc.
|Geographic Coordinates:||30° 00’ S, 71° 00’ W|
|Population (2006 est.):||16,134,219|
|Per Capita GPD (2005 est.):||$11,300|
|Currency:||Chilean peso (CLP)|
|Bordering Countries:||Argentina, Bolivia, Peru|
|Total Wine Consumption (2001):||2,250,000 hectoliters|
|Per Capita Wine Consumption (2001):||14.68 liters per capita|
|Total Wine Production (2001):||5,658,000 hectoliters|
|Total Vineyard Acreage (2001):||440,000 acres|
|Important Grape Varieties:||Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc|
|Cheers in Spanish:||Salud!|