Wines of Chile represents winemakers from this South American wine region, at the foot of the Andes. I always enjoy this tasting when it comes to town, and I’m impressed by the progress the wines (that we import) have made over the years. While there’s been wine produced in the country for decades, possibly even centuries, not until the past 10 years have we been importing them to the U.S. in any quantity. I don’t want to regurgitate the overview of the region, so I’ll snip this content right off their website to give you a nice explanation of the climate and geography:
“Chile’s climate is highly influenced by the cooling effect of the Pacific Ocean and the Humboldt Current that begins in the icy waters near Antarctica and flows up the western coast of South America. Curiously, when the effect of the Humboldt’s cold current hits Chile’s northern coastline it produces clouds and fog, but little or no precipitation, which then contributes to making the Atacama Desert the driest on Earth! The cool sea air is partially blocked by the Coastal Mountains, although it finds its way inland by following the course of the transversal river valleys. During the day, sea breezes carried by the cold Humboldt Current penetrate inland, and each night, cold air descends from the snow- covered peaks of the Andes.”
The region is also devoted to sustainability, which is so important in the wine industry to support the land and improve the quality of the wine. A host of winemakers abide by a strict sustainability code, holding them to the highest standards, and by 2020 the country expects to be a leader in the push towards eco-friendly wine regions. This is no small task, in terms of committment of labor and dollars.
In the meantime, you can take a look at some of the labels I enjoyed tasting below in my gallery. I work with the wine team at Schaefer’s part-time these days and we also carry a nice selection of these wines such as sauvignon blancs (Anakena, Cono Sur, Veramonte, Santa Rita and Oveja Negra, all under $15) and reds (Casa Lapostelle Carmenere & Merlot, Meli Carignane, Errazuriz Carmenere and Ritual Pinot Noir, all under $20).
As you learn and taste more wines around the world, be sure to add a few of these wines to your list. They’re good value wines and now, readily available. Please ask any questions! To learn more, you can follow Wines of Chile on Facebook or Twitter