Chile’s astonishing geography stretches nearly 5000 km along the southwestern coast of South America. Its width never exceeds 250 km, making the country more than eighteen times longer than its widest point.The most obvious factor in Chile’s remarkable slenderness is the massive, virtually impassable wall of the Andes, a mountain range that is still rising and that contains more than 50 active volcanic peaks. The west is bordered by the Pacific Ocean, and all along its length Chile is marked by a narrow depression between the mountains and the sea.To the north the land rises and becomes more arid, until you reach the formidable Atacama Desert, one of the most inhospitable regions on earth.
The Curicó Valley is one of Chile’s oldest wine regions. Located 200km south of Santiago, this privileged viticultural zone, with its cold nights and warm dry days, intense sunlight and long growth season is ideally suited to produce healthy plants and grapes. Here diversity is king, thanks to the cooling influence of the oceanic breezes through the valleys of the coastal mountains, allowing for both red and white grapes to achieve outstanding fruit aromas and exceptional colour concentration. It is here that over 30 variety of grapes are grown – more than any other wine region in Chile.
Given its vast size and longitudinal stretch, Chile cannot be pinned down to a singular wine style. From high elevation with cool air, through to coastal maritime freshness.
The stand out wine for new people to consider is the Carménère, a sublime grape of medium body and weight, rich with spices and punchy notes. Of course one should explore the Sauvignon Blanc - chalky, lime and minerals present an experience nothing at all like the new world tropical notes of New Zealand wines.
Chilean wine has long and strong roots into European wine making, so you can expect an earthiness, an elegance and a restrained experience that is both exciting to discover and to celebrate with great food.
One of the six original grapes of Bordeaux, Carménère is now one of the most important grapes in Chile. For more than 150 years this grape has thrived in Chile, and for a long time many thought it was Merlot. Now Carménère is a critical part of the region's wine industry and is being used for new and exciting blends with other varietals such as Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Often found on the wine labels are the words Reserva and Gran Reserva. In principle these relate to the amount of ageing the wines have gone through during the wine making process. Reserva wines are aged roughly six months, where as Gran Reserva are around the 12 months. This is not strictly followed making understanding what you are buying a little tricky, however, we can safely say at The Wine Community, when we put on a Gran Reserva it is a wine that is head and shoulders above the standard.
Roberto Echeverría Jr has been the Chief Winemaker of Viña Echeverría since 2001, supported by a team of winemakers from both Chile and Europe, bringing innovation, passion and consistency to the winemaking team.
Inspired by his French family heritage, Roberto´s signature style produces wines that blend New World innovation with Old World elegance. More European viticultural techniques include timely harvesting to avoid over ripeness and therefore good balance and control of alcohol levels.
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