Chile - the stick insect of the wine world in a geographical sense, being just 100 miles at its widest point, but almost 2,000 miles long, from its border with Peru in the north to its southern tip in the chilly barren lands of Tierra del Fuego. Within this long 'stick' of land, there lies some of the most beautiful, magnificent and pleasurable wine regions in the World. Centred around the capital Santiago, there lies the burgeoning wine regions of Maipo, Casablanca, Acongagua and the Central Valley, where Chile produces very large quantities of good quality wines from chiefly International Grape Varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet and Merlot. Locally, the red Carmenere is growing in importance, as it is more often used to blend into other reds to add spice and freshness.
The Spanish history and culture within Chile is often seen in their winemaking style, focusing on fresh, elegant and fruity wines that have a mass market appeal. Away from Santiago, emerging regions such as Bio Bio, Rapel, Maule and Itata to the south are giving Chile more temperate vineyards, capable of producing higher quality, more elegant wines. The soils throughout Chile are varied, but always the snow-capped Andes provide a constant and dramatic backdrop, and it is into these cool hills and lower glacial valleys that winemakers are heading to plant vineyards, as they search out more interesting micro-climates to exploit.