What is the approximate total geographical range of Chile's vineyards?
900km from north to south Rarely more than 100km east to west
How is Chile's vineyard area geographically defined?
By four broad areas: The Pacific Ocean to the west The coastal mountain ranges just inland The Andes to the east A large depression south of Santiago where the two mountain ranges separate, known as Central Valley
What fills the gaps in the coastal mountains?
River valleys that drain the water from the Andes
What is the general climate of Chile?
What does the mediterranean climate mean about the Chilean weather and conditions for growing grapes?
Summers are warm and dry Fungal disease is kept to a minimum
How is the shortfall in rainwater in Chile generally dealt with?
What is the difficulty with irrigation in Chile, particularly in the north?
Water for irrigation is in increasingly short supply
How are conditions different in the southern part of Chile?
They are cooler and wetter here
What can affect Chile's weather pattern some years?
El Niño and La Niña
What are the comparative impacts of El Niño and La Niña respectively on Chile?
Rainfall levels can dramatically increase during El Niño years Drought may occur during La Niña years
Where are El Niño and La Niña experienced?
Throughout the Pacific
Describe the major climatic influence which applies to all parts of coastal Chile , and how it affects Chile
The cold Humboldt Current flows up from Antarctica along the Chilean coast and prevailing winds blow cool air inland along the river valleys
What can be a secondary effect of the Humboldt Current in coastal areas of Chile?
It can create fogs
Where is the cooling effect of prevailing Humboldt winds most evident in Chile?
Where coastal mountains are at their lowest and in parts of the valleys that are closest to the Pacific
What is another cooling effect felt in Chilean foothills specifically?
Cold air which descends from the mountains overnight can cause a large diurnal range
Describe weather between the two mountain ranges in Chile
It is much more shielded here and the large expanses of flat land are easier to cultivate
What has been the result of the two major cooling influences in Chile?
New labelling laws introduced in 2012, using the terms; Costa Entre Cordilleras Andes
What alternative winemaking practices are widespread in Chile?
Sustainable and organic grape growing and winemaking are widely practiced by a number of small and large winemaking estates
Why are sustainable and organic winemaking practices widely practiced in Chile?
A number of well respected winemakers as well as the authorities have done a lot to promote this
What is the most planted grape variety in Chile?
What style is Cabernet made into in Chile?
A variety from simple and fruity to full-bodied premium examples
Describe premium Cabernet wines of Chile
Usually with very ripe black fruit aromas and flavours, often with a herbaceous character
What is the role of blending for Chilean Cabernet?
It is frequently blended with Merlot, Carmenère or Syrah
Describe styles of Merlot in Chile
Inexpensive, medium-bodied and fruity (has been very successful on export markets) Fuller-bodied and complex is also found
What are the most important viticultural characteristics of Carmenère?
Late ripening and most successful in warm, sunny conditions
Describe Carmenère wines
Full-bodied High levels of tannin Overtly herbaceous when not fully ripe Good examples achieve a balance between black fruit and herbal aromas
What is thought of as Chile's signature variety?
What style is Syrah made into in Chile?
It can be made into a wide variety of styles in a wide variety of sites
Describe Syrah from cooler coastal sites or northerly regions such as Elqui Valley
Lighter in body with peppery notes
Describe Syrah wines from hotter regions in Chile
Give an example of such a region
Greater intensity of black fruit flavours