Only a few decades ago Chilean wine was almost unheard of on the global market. Yet today Chile has become one of the world’s top exporters – there is no other wine producing country with the same reputation for reasonable prices and consistent quality.
Although Chile can lay claim to having one of the oldest viticultures in the new world (vines were first brought over by the conquistadors in the 16th century) Chilean wine has not had a straightforward journey to the dinner party table. In fact for centuries wine production was illegal, in an attempt to favour Spanish wine growers in the South American market. Later French winemakers would come to Chile and begin the process of refining local production from a focus on the traditional sweet Pais grape towards classic French varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon,Merlot and Sémillon.
Wine from Chile is defined by the unusual geography of this long, thin and mountainous country. Most wine production takes place in central Chile. The famous Valle Central has become renowned for quality Cabernet Sauvignon with a smooth, soft-tannin based smokiness that has won numerous admirers.
Since Chile’s landscape was recognised as ideal for viticulture it has blossomed from having an almost entirely domestic wine industry into a major exporter. At the Drinks Cabinet we have a wide variety of Chilean wines covering a whole range of budgets and styles.