Chilean Wine: A Profile of Chilean Wine History, Varietals, Producers & More

Visiting Chilean Wineries

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Wine tourism in Chile is gaining popularity.  Several wine sub-regions, including Casablanca, Curicó, Maipo, Maule and Colchagua, have established wine routes.  In some areas, tour companies offer guided visits to several wineries in one day.  You can also visit wineries on your own.

Many Chilean wineries offer tours and tastings.  For example, Matetic Vineyards in Rosario, a zone of the San Antonio sub-region, offers three tour and tasting experiences as well as a restaurant and guesthouse.  Miguel Torres Chile, in Curicó, also has an on-site restaurant, where visitors can relax over a meal after their wine tour.  Casa Lapostolle's Clos Apalta Winery in Rapel's Colchagua zone offers tours, tastings and lunch.  It's always a good idea to contact the winery before your arrival date to ensure a place in the tour group.

The Future of Chile's Wine Industry

For more than 25 years, The California Wine Club founders Bruce and Pam Boring have explored all corners of California’s wine country to find award-winning, handcrafted wine to share with the world. Each month, the club features a different small family winery and hand selects two of their best wines for members.

Over the past 30 years, Chilean wine producers have modernized their winemaking processes and invested in new equipment and technologies.  They are now turning their attention to terroir.  Chile's diverse climate, soils and elevations allow growers to focus on the elements that make each vineyard unique.  So far, the results have been impressive.

A group of dedicated, innovative and independent boutique wine producers banded together in the summer of 2009 to form MOVI – the Movimiento de Viñateros Independientes, or Movement of Independent Vintners.  This group, the first of its kind in Chile, consists of small, independent winemakers who have conceptualized a "vision" for their wines, one that goes beyond terroir.  The emphasis is on winemaker involvement at every stage of production and marketing.  In a country where large, family-owned wine businesses are the rule, MOVI is attracting attention.  Best of all, members' wines are receiving their fair share of attention and awards.

All is not perfect for the wine producers of Chile.  The February 2010 earthquake that devastated Concepción also damaged nearby wineries.  At Miguel Torres Chile, for example, wine casks, a steel vat and, of course, glass bottles were broken and the wine they contained was lost.  It will take some time for wine producers to assess the earthquake's impact and decide how to proceed.  They will rebuild, of course, but will no doubt take advantage of this opportunity to examine their properties, plans and goals for the future.


[1] Zraly, Kevin. Windows on the World Complete Wine Course, 2009 Edition, page 167.