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Thursday, January 5, 2012

The World's Top Ten Most Famous Wine Regions and Wine Holiday Destinations Part 7: CHILE.


Wine Regions Map
of Chile.
Chile surprised the wine industry by going from producing mediocre wines in the 1940's/1990's, to putting out an excellent product that stands up well to all other New World wines as well as to French wines and wines from other more established wine makers, in just the last ten years or so.

Chile's Central Valley, where most of its wine is produced, is made up of various sub-regions, such as: the Maipo, Rapel, Cachapoal, Mataquito and Maule Valleys.

View of the Maipo Valley Terrain.
The Maipo Valley produces high quality, affordable reds, out of Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Merlot grapes.The flavour found here range from fruity to full-bodied, and the world has responded well to Chilean exports. The Santa Rita vineyard alone ships around 340,000 bottles per year to consumers in the US and thousands more worldwide. The Cabernets and Chardonnays of this region are superlative

As a tourist destination, the Maipo Valley, just outside the Chilean Capital of Santiago, and set among the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean is internationally acclaimed.

Carmenere Grape Cluster.
Chile also has a world renowned indegenous grape variety which was for some time passed on as Merlot. This grape is the Carmenere' which, some say was taken to Chile from France in the 1800's.  Carmenere has thrived in Chile, and has now become synonymous with this country as its own national grape variety, in the same way as Malbec has done for Argentina.

Tours in Chile are organised by various reputable operators internationally and may include: Santiago; The Wine Valleys, vineyards and winemakers; Patagonia; the Atacama desert; and of course various culinary and wine tasting tours. A trip to Chile is an adventure in its own right.

Traditional Food and wine in Chile are abundant and make a deliciuos change from cuisine found in European countries:

Chilean Charquican.
A Premium wine
from Chile.
Chilean Charquican is a slow cooked beef stew in which dried beef (chaqui) is used, with added vegetbales in season and beans. The serving in a bowl shaped plate is traditionally served with a fried egg on top, as well as with Chilean flat bread to dip in.

Chilean Traditional Pot-Roast.

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