Chile’s extreme climate and fertile soil has vaulted the prosperous country to one of the world’s top wine producers. Endless vineyards lie among mountain ranges and sapphire waters, contributing to unique offerings from Chile’s new and established wineries.
Lured by the Chilean experience, Scott Thompson, wine sales manager for Traverse City-based H. Cox & Son, spent a week traveling the country and touring countless wineries. He returned, perhaps begrudgingly, with these four suggestions – all of which are available in Michigan.
Best known as the grape of Sherry, Pedro Ximenz (PX), when grown in the arid climes of northern Chile, can produce a stylish dry white with appealing floral and fruit aromas, balanced with minerality and crisp acidity. The perfect foil to oysters!
With family roots firmly placed in France’s Bordeaux region, dating back to the mid 1800’s, J. Bouchon’s “Canto Sur” is a blend of classic Chilean grapes, featuring Chile’s hallmark grape, Carmenere. Classic red fruit and herbs on the nose lead to great acidity and juiciness on the palate.
Felipe Garcia is leading the charge in Chile, inspiring young winemakers to buck convention. This old-vine blend of Syrah, Carignan, Petit Verdot, Mourvedre and Grenache is a great example of the bold, “spice & jam” reds that come from ancient dry-farmed vineyards in Chile’s Itata Valley. Boya Pinot Noir Rose comes from the cool coastal climate of Leyda Valley in Chile’s San Antonia Valley. Proximity to the Pacific Ocean mitigate temperatures, allowing for gradual, controlled ripening. Aromas and flavors lean towards ripe red berry fruit and tangerine, with a crisp, persistent finish.