Wines of Maipo Valley, Chile

chileGeography and climate

Maipo is where it all started for Chilean Wine industry. It is divided into 3 sub-regions which together stretch from the Pacific coastal to the Ande mountain’s foothill: Pacific Maipo, Central Maipo and Alto Maipo. The change in location brings different climates as well as land and soil. Coastal climate blankets the Pacific Maipo area with cool temperature, away from coastal influence, inland experiences drier and hotter air especially at Alto Maipo where wineries plague the foothill of Mt. Ande. Soil consist of mostly gravel, clay and some sand.

Viticulture & Winemaking

Major grapes:

  • Red varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot
  • White varieties: Sauvignon Blanc

Vintners from coastal region of Pacific Maipo have found success in growing white grape such as Sauvignon Blanc. Cooler climate and sandy soil result in crisp and zappy Sauvignon Blanc with clean mineral notes.

Although Cabernet Sauvignon is not the national grape of Chile, it is by far the most planted grape variety at the moment, elegantly evolving in the winemaking industry of the Ribbon Country since the mid-19th century, when it made its way from France. The finesse of this grape is rounded by the perfect environment, tantalizing wine enthusiasts all around the world, with its flexible attributes, and easy going charm. While it is typically grown in all areas, this grape reached its peaks of excellence in the warmer vineyards of Chile, such as Aconcagua, Cachapoal, and Maipo. The dry and sun exposed climate allows the grapes to ripen and develop full bodied and rich fruit with berry flavors. Some regions, such as Alto Maipo, developed a distinctive eucalyptus edge, aroma that marks its uniqueness. There are limitless versions of this wonderful grape, featuring indescribable flavors of tobacco, chocolate, black tea and other aromas that will feast your senses. Its wide variety makes it easy to pair with food, but it blends best with piquant sauces, spice rubs, and grilled steaks.

Worldwide, Merlot remains the favorite Chilean wine. Elegant and fruity it is easy to pair with food at any occasion. Versatile and soft-textured, this Chilean grape will never go out of fashion with its spicy green-peppery distinguishing flavor. Depending on where it’s planted, Merlot can vary from casual to effervescent aromas making it easy to pair with common dishes such as pizza or pasta, to gourmet servings and abundantly sauced steaks, accompanied by caramelized roast veggies maybe with a drop of sweetness, red peppers, beets and ideally fried or grilled mushrooms. 

Serie Riberas Cabernet Sauvignon Marchigue 2012 Chile

Thomas Le, CS.

 

 

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Thomas Le

-Certified Sommelier (CMS)

Napa Reserva -Falling for wine, one sip at a time. TM

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