The history of viticulture in Chile goes back to a time when the Spanish conquistadors ventured into South America without knowing what they would find. First, they colonised Mexico, then they travelled a long way down the continent to what is now Chile in 1555. In these sublime landscapes bordered by the ocean and the mountains, they saw a prosperous land for the cultivation of vines.
Thanks to this age-old history, filled with know-how and the passionate work of many generations, the Chilean vineyard proudly grows a rich and varied range of indigenous grape varieties. In addition, at the beginning of the 19th century, Chilean winegrowers began to reshape the structure of the vineyard by planting mainly French grape varieties.
This decision had a major impact on the reputation of Chilean wines. Following the phylloxera epidemic that had painfully affected French vineyards, many French winegrowers came to exploit the high potential of Chile's wine regions. From then on, they instilled the "Bordeaux style" on the other side of the Atlantic and by combining their know-how with the ancestral traditions of the country, they gave these wines an international scope.
Today, Chilean wines rank among the most prestigious in the world. The renowned magazine Decanter has ranked 5 Chilean wines in its top 50 best wines in the world. For any French wine lover, Chilean wines offer a very interesting and qualitative alternative.
Ideally located between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountains, the vineyards enjoy a warm and naturally temperate climate. This results in a strong thermal amplitude between day and night, allowing the grapes to develop in a very harmonious way.
As for the grape varieties, they are the ones that are largely responsible for the reputation of Chilean wines. For both red and white wines, some notable grape varieties are particularly useful for making single-variety wines. Among the French varieties, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Pinot Noir and Mourvèdre are in the limelight, while the emblematic variety of Chile remains Carmenère, particularly cultivated in the Colchagua Valley. As for white wines, Chardonnay and a few indigenous varieties predominantly make up the blends.
All these grape varieties are deeply-rooted in century-old terroirs and provide Chilean wines with a singular expression shaped by a burst of aromas and balanced lavours. Thus, Chilean wines are destined to delight the taste buds of wine lovers and connoisseurs alike with their authentic style, which is magnified day after day in the hands of talented estates.