Maipo Valley - Maipo Valley is one of Chile's most important wine-producing regions. Located just south of the capital, Santiago, Maipo Valley is home to some of the country's most prestigious wines. It is often described as the 'Bordeaux of South America', and rich, fruit-driven Cabernet Sauvignon is undoubtedly its most celebrated wine style.
Are you a business owner in Chile?
Promote your business 365 days a year with the #1 Guide to Chile.
- Gain MAXIMUM EXPOSURE with a 'Dedicated Business Profile'
Directions to Maipo Valley
Maipo is at the very northern end of Chile's extensive Central Valley, running from just north of the Rapel Valley up to where the countryside begins to give way to houses and roads in the southern suburbs of Santiago. The Coastal Range separates the area from the Pacific coast, and on the eastern side, the Andes Mountains rise suddenly and dramatically, separating Maipo from the Argentinean region of Mendoza.
The Maipo Valley is the home of viticulture in Chile. The first vines were planted around Santiago at the city's birth in the 1540s, but it wasn't until the 1800s that viticulture began to expand significantly, as an indirect result of entrepreneurial Chileans growing rich from the mineral wealth found in the Atacama Desert to the north. It became fashionable for these wealthy individuals to travel to France, and they inevitably returned home with vines to plant in their new, French-influenced wine estates. The vineyards of Cousino Macul, Concha Y Toro and Santa Rita were developed during this period, and they remain today important names in the Chilean wine industry.
The vineyards of Alto Maipo (or Upper Maipo) run along the eastern edge of the Andes Mountains, where they benefit from altitudes of 1300-2500ft (400-760m) above sea level. At this height, warm sun during the day is followed by colder nights, which slow ripening. This extends the growing season, leading to grapes with a balance of ripeness and acidity. Alto Maipo's colluvial soils (those brought down from the mountains over time by gravity as opposed to rivers) are rocky and free-draining and are considered excellent for viticulture: vines have to work harder for water in the ground and so put their energy into producing smaller berries with a high concentration of sugars and acids.
Alto Maipo, which encompasses the sub-regions of Puente Alto and Pirque, is the most prestigious of Maipo's viticultural areas. It is here that the vineyards of Don Melchor, Almaviva and Vinedo Chadwick can be found along the banks of the Maipo River and among the houses and buildings of Santiago itself.
Central Maipo (sometimes called Maipo Medio) is the lower-lying ground just to the west of Alto Maipo, surrounding the towns of Buin and Paine. The climate here is slightly warmer than in Alto Maipo, and the soils are slightly more clay-based and fertile, leading to a slightly less-refined style of wine. Cabernet Sauvignon is still the most-grown grape variety, but there are also substantial plantings of Carmenère vines, as the warmer climate is well suited to this iconic Chilean grape variety.
Maipo Bajo (or lower Maipo) centers on the towns of Isla de Maipo and Talagante. The wine industry here is more concerned with winemaking than viticulture, and while there are a few vineyards, there are many wineries. Undurraga and De Martino are just two of the names that can be found in this part of Chile, making wines with grapes from all over the country. Some viticulture takes place here near the river, where cool breezes create mesoclimates suitable for growing white-wine varieties, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon.
Annual rainfall in Maipo is very low and the climate is both warm and dry, so the arrival of technological advances in the 1980s brought an element of consistency to winemaking here. Drip irrigation gives viticulturists a weapon against extended dry spells, while stainless-steel tanks and oak barrels allow controlled fermentation and quality ageing.
Along with Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenère, a wide range of grape varieties are planted in the Maipo Valley including Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
You may also like
Mastica ProductionMetropolitana de Santiago, Santiago
Mercado Mastica is a family scene where the work of small independent producers in Chile is shown. Founded in 2015, Mercado Mastica has grown organically, opening up to d
La Noche Culture and ArtMetropolitana de Santiago, Santiago de Chile
Santiago de Chile offers the traveler an intense cultural activity throughout the year, and although the historical center of the city concentrates most of the museums, i
Farellones ParkMetropolitana de Santiago,
Visit Farellones Park for an amazing adventure in the mountains! MOUNTAIN CART -Come and test your skills at the wheel by sliding through the snow. Now
Andean Museum - Santa Rita WineryMetropolitana de Santiago, Santiago
Amidst the Santa Rita vineyards, on the foothills of the Andes, sits the Museo Andean, a large, modern museum that houses a collection of around 3000 archeological and et
Barrio ItaliaMetropolitana de Santiago, Santiago de Chile
Formerly in this sector many immigrants -especially Italians- came to live and work, and thus leaving their cultural imprint in spaces such as the Castillito Sermini, the
National Reserve Pampa del TamarugalTarapac,
The Pampa del Tamarugal National Reserve is located in the Tarapacá Region, province of Tamarugal, in the communes of Huara and Pozo Almonte. It was created on Decembe
Centro Gabriela Mistral - GAMMetropolitana de Santiago,
The Centre Gabriela Mistral, GAM, is a cultural centre devoted to disseminate and promote performing arts and music. Among many other activities, it offers contemporary d
Baha i HouseRegion Metropolitana Chile
A gathering place for South America. Located in the foothills of the Andes in Santiago, Chile, the Bahá’í House of Worship of South America opens its doors on Oc
Movistar ArenaRegion Metropolitana, Santiago
The best Arena in South America. Movistar Arena is the main multipurpose roofed enclosure of the country, located in O'Higgins Park in Santiago de Chile, it is desig
Espacio RiescoMetropolitana de Santiago,
Espacio Riesco offers full service from beginning to end. Our staff is always prepared to take care of your requirements and our track record of more than 15 years