Sparkling Wines - Chile
Chile produces approximately 12 million bottles of sparkling wine annually, of which only 1.6 million are exported to foreign markets. Despite having been produced since 1879, sparkling wine has not yet had a significant impact on Chile’s wine portfolio.
However, in recent years, there has been creative use of the Pais variety, alone or in blends, to produce contemporary wines that have received positive reviews. Thanks to growing consumer demand and a greater selection of cold climate grapes, there is now an increasingly diverse variety of sparkling wines, from very dry to English-style, semi-dry, white, blanc de noir, and rosé.
Valdivieso is responsible for creating the majority of Chile’s sparkling wines, representing 60% of total production. Although most of the production methods used are cost-effective, around 20% of the wines are created using the traditional method (méthode champenoise) and Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. In addition, Valdivieso creates a unique beverage by mixing Pinot Noir sparkling wine with freshly hand-picked strawberry pulp.
Apart from Valdivieso, there are other famous sparkling wine producers in Chile. For example, Santa Carolina offers a wide range of sparkling wines made with traditional methods and grapes such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc. Their Brut Nature Reserve, made with 100% Chardonnay grapes, has received numerous awards, including a gold medal at the prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards.
Another well-known sparkling wine producer in Chile is Undurraga, which uses the traditional method to make their Brut Royal, a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. This wine has a light and fresh character and has been well-received by critics.
The sparkling wine industry in Chile is not dominated solely by large-scale producers like Valdivieso and Santa Carolina, but small-scale producers are also making significant contributions to the industry. These small producers focus on traditional methods and limited quantities to create high-quality sparkling wines.
Many of these small producers face challenges such as limited resources, lack of access to markets, and difficulties in obtaining financing. However, they are committed to their craft and are constantly working to improve the quality of their wines. These small-scale producers are vital to the industry as they bring diversity and creativity to Chile’s sparkling wine offerings. Despite the challenges they face, they are committed to their craft and are making significant contributions to the industry.
In conclusion, Chile has a growing and diverse sparkling wine industry, with both large and small-scale producers making a name for themselves in the industry. While Valdivieso remains the most significant producer, others such as Santa Carolina and Undurraga are gaining popularity for their high-quality sparkling wines. Additionally, small-scale producers are leaving their mark by focusing on limited quantities and traditional methods. With the growing demand for sparkling wines, Chile’s sparkling wine industry is sure to continue to grow and innovate in the coming years.