What are the varieties of a wine?
It is the trunk of the vine (plant) from which branches, leaves and fruits sprout.
There are different types of varieties:
Wine varieties are also known as vinification strains.
The shape of the leaves and the grapes give each strain its unique characteristics.
Each strain gives the wine its varietal character (the characteristics of this grape variety) that includes aroma, flavor or palate and texture.
These characteristics are usually very different for each variety and even for the same strain from a different valley.
The Colchagua Valley constitutes one of the cornerstones of wine not only in Chile, but throughout the world.
Hence, there is currently a great abundance of vineyards in the Colchagua Valley, each of which offers characteristics to the grapes that are planted in this sector and consequently to the wines that are made from there.
Central Valley of Chile: agricultural capital of the country
The Central Valley of Chile begins in the V region, passing through the Metropolitan region, then crossing through the VI and VII, and ends in the VIII region. Geographically, it is bounded by the Cuesta de Chacabuco to the north and by the Biobío River to the south.
It is considered an ideal area for life thanks to its pleasant temperatures, its fertile lands, and its abundant waters, all of which have contributed considerably to the agricultural development of the country. Likewise, the Central Valley of Chile concentrates, by far, most of the country’s population.
The Central Valley is divided into four minor zones:
-Valle de Curicó
Among these, the Rapel Valley is subdivided into two more valleys: the Cachapoal Valley and the Colchagua Valley, the latter being larger and more heterogeneous than the first, which is why it stands as a favorite of many vineyards the Colchagua Valley.
What is the Colchagua Valley?
As its name indicates, this area consists of a valley, that is, a flat terrain surrounded by higher surfaces, commonly hills and mountains. Therefore, it is common for valleys to be watered by waters coming from the mountain range, an effect caused by the lower slope in the valley itself. This is the first characteristic in favor of the Colchagua Valley vineyards.
In addition, the Colchagua Valley is a designation of origin that refers to the wines from that area. All the above is regulated by decree 56 of 2017 of the Ministry of Agriculture, which modifies the previous decree 464 (of 1994), which indicates that this valley includes the provinces of Colchagua and Cardenal Caro, areas whose most important city is that of San Fernando.
Characteristics of Colchagua wines
The best Colchagua wines are those whose elaboration is as faithful as possible to the benefits that this area offers, considering climate, nutrients in its lands, light and other factors. Thus, the vineyards in the Colchagua Valley are known for producing full-bodied red wines, four of which are the most outstanding varieties:
Due in part to the rapid expansion of the wine industry in this area, today it is possible to see various plantations on the very slopes of the valley, at the foot of the mountain range. Towards the west, in what would be the province of Cardenal Caro (whose capital is Pichilemu), the influence of the sea on production is more noticeable, its cooling, which facilitates the production of white wines. This sector is ideal to produce cool climate grape varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Finally, in general terms and thanks to the characteristics of this valley, Colchagua wines stand out for their quality and body, presenting themselves as an opportunity to discover the wide range of aromas offered by the wines of these localities.