Chilean Wine Regions

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Elqui Valley
Pronunciation Guide: EL-kee (Valley) and ko-KIM-bo (D.O.)

060504030201

Denomination of Origin: Elqui Valley
Region: Coquimbo  Sub-Region: Elqui
Complementary Area: Andes

Currently Chile’s northernmost commercially viable wine-producing valley, located 530 km (330 mi) north of Santiago at the southern edge of the Atacama Desert.

What do astronomers and winegrowers have in common? Clear skies and pure light. Elqui has both. Here at the southern edge of the Atacama Desert, the sun works its magic on the grapes by day and the stars dazzle by night.

The area has long been known for its table grapes, papayas, and other fruits, as well as Chile’s distilled spirit Pisco, but new vineyards explore the terrain from coast to high into the Andes—up to 2000 meters (6,500 feet) above sea level—for wine grapes with amazing results, especially with the attention-grabbing cool-climate Syrah.

Desert-like climate < 70 mm (2.8 in) of rain per year. Dry, rocky terrain in steep valley is cooled by strong winds from the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountains.

Soils: clay, silt, and chalk.

Terrific results: cool-climate Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc.

Hectares Planted

Cabernet Sauvignon

25 ha (62 acres)

Carménère

60 ha (148 acres)

Syrah

87 ha (215 acres)

Sauvignon Blanc

72 ha (178 acres)

Chardonnay

23 ha (57 acres)

Pinot Noir

19 ha (47 acres)

 

Total Hectares planted: 286 ha (707 acres)

 

Elqui Valley