Chile: Regions and soils

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Traditionally, Chile’s wine regions were divided from north to south following administrative and provincial divisions rather than according to likely terroir effects. This system, common in many young wine regions, is slowly being modified. A first and very preliminary step was the 2013 geographical divisions of the wine valleys into Andes, Entre Cordilleras (between mountain ranges), and Costa (coastal). This transversal division from east to west aims to reflect the impact of the effects of the Andes as well as the Pacific—both cooling influences—in contrast to the valleys, where the climate tends to be warmer. This is a very general division. Dozens of exceptions are already evident, but this is at least a first step towards recognizing the influence of Chile’s mountainous topography and the Pacific Ocean on the character of its wines.