Wine of the World

Wine Basics By Region - Central Valley / Rapel Print

Overview

Valley: Cachapoal

Just south of Santiago, the Rapel Valley is Chile’s agricultural heartland and further divided into two winegrowing sectors: Cachepoal in the north and Colchagua in the south.

Cachapoal, the northernmost, is known primarily for red grapes. Cachapoal Alto stretches eastward into the Andean foothills and produces elegant, well-balanced Cabernets and red blends. Farther west toward the Coastal Mountains, the Peumo sector receives just enough cool maritime influence to create a warm, but not hot climate ideal for the area’s renowned, full-bodied, fruit-forward Carmenère.

The southernmost portion of the Rapel Valley is one of Chile’s best known wine regions and has earned much applause for its full-bodied Cabernet, Carmenère, Syrah, and Malbec, and its wines regularly appear high on the world’s lists of leading wines. The majority of the wineries are concentrated in the center of the valley, although new plantations climb hillsides and explore the western frontier toward the sea.