Colchagua Valley wine region

Colchagua Valley
Chile’s long north-south Central Valley, between the Andes and the Coastal Range, is home to most of its vineyards.  But it is divided by transverse valleys, where rivers originating in the Andes find gaps in the Coastal Range to reach the sea, and these constitute the named wine regions you see on labels.
 
From north to south they are: Maipo (dryest and hottest, home to the capital Santiago), Rapel (subdivided into Cachapoal to the north, and Colchagua to the south), Curicó and Maule.  All are dry enough to require irrigation, except for parts of Curicó and Maule, and warm enough to make white wines something of a rarity, except close to the coast and the frigid Humboldt Current.
 
Colchagua is no exception.  Cabernet Sauvignon dominates, as it does in most of Chile, but Carmenère and Merlot are particularly big here, especially on the frequent patches of clay soil, and the valley is recognised as the best place in Chile for these varieties.  This is also Chile’s prime spot for Malbec.  In the ocean-cooled west there are pockets of Chardonnay and even Sauvignon Blanc, but they’re not really what Colchagua is about.
 
Many of Chile’s most prestigious reds come from here, and new plantings creeping ever further up the valley sides and closer to the Andes are raising the quality level still further.

Decanting Club wines from: Colchagua Valley

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