The terroir of Chile´s vineyards

As we explained in a previous article: What is terroir and why is it so important? Terroir is a French term that in Spanish means terroir. But here we'll tell you more about this important element that Chile's vineyards possess.

Both terroir and terruño are words that come from the Latin terra and are applied especially in viticulture. In the aforementioned article we made it clear that it refers to: "the combination of natural factors that are capable of giving very special and particular characteristics to a wine. It's that combination of soil characteristics, topography, climate, biodiversity, altitude and winemaking techniques that make a wine distinctive. 


Once we have been reminded what the word terroir refers to, we must make it clear that there is no consensus among world producers that defines the term.

Therefore, terroir can refer to a particular terrain where the wine has been produced, a group of plants or vines, and even a group of vineyards and cellars that meet the parameters necessary to have a Denomination of Origin Certification (AOC) or some similar guarantee.

A kind of Certification of Origin is what Vigno is intended to do. A Chilean brand that encompasses several vineyards in Chile and tries to encourage the production of wine with the Carignan strain from the Secano Costero del Maule and that in order to qualify as Vigno, must meet certain standards of Denomination of Origin.

But... What types of terroir do you apply to the Chilean wines that make you so famous worldwide?

You might be interested: Vigno: 14 vineyards, one mark.

Soil types of Chilean vineyards

Chilean soils have produced good grape varieties since they were brought to the country during colonial times. Some areas have a special feature that makes them ideal for certain types of wine.

What makes the Chilean terroir so special?

The Chilean terroir is considered particularly privileged, due to the geographical position of the country, which lies between the Atacama desert to the north (the driest in the world), the cold Patagonia to the south, the Pacific Ocean to the west and embraced by the Andes mountain range to the east.

Soil types of Chilean vineyards

Some of the most common and suitable soils for the cultivation of vines for wine production in Chile are: alluvial, clay, sand, limestone and marl. However, each wine-growing region of the country has characteristics of land constitution, climate and irrigation that give specific particularities to each production.

Dry Interior of Maule

The lands located in the Secano Interior provide an excellent country stock and other heritage stocks in part due to their characteristics: aridity, lack of irrigation and climatic characteristics.

Its clay soil is composed in part of granitic materials with agroclimatic and topographic conditions that make it ideal for this type of vines.

You might like: 6 things you should know about organic wine.

Maipo Valley

It is within the Central Valley wine region and covers the administrative areas of the Metropolitan Zone. This is one of the few places in the world with a temperate Mediterranean climate, which benefits its vineyards, with cold and humid winters and hot, dry summers.

The soils of the Maipo Valley have good drainage and little fertility. The vineyards located in the high parts of the valley, close to the mountain range, have soils that have in their composition, among other things, fluvial sediments, volcanic ashes and clays.

In the lower parts their soils are more irrigated and stony. Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère and other non-traditional strains such as Syrah are common in this area, with good results.

Other wine-growing areas

There are many other areas with peculiar characteristics that make each wine production unique. Throughout Chile, from the northern regions to the southern regions, you can find special areas with agro-climatic conditions and particular soils for the production of all types of wine.

Some of the sub-regions highlighted in Chile for wine production are: Copiapó Valley, Huasco Valley, Elqui Valley, Limarí, Limarí Valley, Limarí Valley, Choapa Valley, Aconcagua, Aconcagua Valley, Casablanca, Casablanca Valley, San Antonio Valley, Maipo Valley, Rapel Valley, Curicó Valley, Maule, Maule Valley, Itata, Itata Valley, Bio-Bio, Bio-Bio Valley, Mallepo Valley, Colchagua, Colchagua Valley.