Re-inventing traditional techniques into modern wines
Maule, Bío Bío and Itata: Chile’s Southern-Most Wine Region
Chile’s largest and most diverse valley, the Maule Valley, is composed of three distinct sectors. The variety of wines produced in this valley allows bright, fruity reds from noble stock as well as unique wines made from the fruit of ancient bush vines that for many years were used for homemade table wines, but not generally showcased by seasoned winemakers. These wines, made from grapes such as Carignan and Uva País have caused many critics to rethink their opinion of these so-called rustic varietals.
Slow but steady is the key phrase in Chile’s oldest wine region, the Itata Valley. Grapes were first brought into the country through the port near Concepción and made their way overland to the capital in the mid-16th century. Hot summers and very wet, cold winters presented challenges to noble varieties that have only been overcome with recent technology. A small, but dedicated group of growers are producing wines for export as well as for local consumption.
Bío Bío & Malleco Valleys
Although experimental vineyards are making headway further south, Bío Bío & Malleco Valleys, about 650 kilometers south of Santiago, remain Chile’s viticultural southern extreme, for all practical purposes. Volatile weather conditions make attention to detail crucial for winegrowers, but the region is proving very exciting for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc wines. This is a region to keep an eye on as young vineyards start producing what growers expect to be exceptional cool-climate wines.
What to do in Chile’s Maule Valley
Ready to go? Here’s what to pack
Weather in the Maule region is typical of other central Chile wine valleys with warm days and cool nights. The sun brings high temperatures, especially in summer months.
- Casual clothing and closed toed shoes (jeans always welcome!)
- For women, shawls or wraps are recommended for the crisp air that comes after sun-down
- Active wear to take advantage of hiking and biking opportunities
- Small backpacks or cross-bodied bags
- Heavier coat and boots for winter travel
- Sunblock (summer sun is strong)
Travel tunes: Playlists for Chile’s Wine Regions
Where to stay: Overnight Recommendations
The vibe: Camping with hotel comforts
The location: Off-the-grid, along the Maule River
Good for: Groups or travelers looking for to disconnect and immerse themselves in Chile’s wine country
The vibe: Charming and rustic
The location: Nestled on the Bouchon family estate
Good for: Those looking for a cozy hideaway in a vineyard
Notes from our Team
Seeing the area on bike or foot is the best way to connect to the nature
A trail ride through vineyards, especially when fields are blooming, is a great way to get the local vibe