Chile: Viticulture

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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irrigation is essential in nearly half of all Chilean vineyards and, as in Argentina, is made possible by the melting snows of the Andes, diverted along a series of canals and channels as well as through the use of deep wells that exploit groundwater. This method is particularly important in coastal zones far from the Andes such as Casablanca. drip irrigation was introduced only in the early 1990s. As a result of this ready and plentiful water supply, most vineyards have good access to water during the growing season. The irrigated vineyards are mainly in the north of the Central Valley, in the interior of the Aconcagua, Maipo, Rapel, Maule, and Curicó regions. On the slopes of the coastal range in the west of southern regions, rainfall is often sufficient, as it is in most of the Southern region. fertilizers are widely employed, but their use is regulated to avoid an excess of vigour. Drip irrigation allows fertigation in some of the more viticulturally developed areas.