Bío Bío Valley is a wine-producing region located in the southern part of Chile. The region is 435km south of the capital city Santiago. The Bío Bío Valley wine region is proof that Chile can produce high-quality wine in pretty much all areas of its territory. Muscat de Alejandria and Pais were the main grape varieties grown in this region during the 20th century, but more recently, the vineyards of Bío Bío Valley are almost entirely dominated by the aromatic varieties from France and Germany. Get lost in the stunning landscape of Bío Bío while looking for local wineries.
All You Need to Know About the Bío Bío Valley Wine Region
Curiosities About the Bío Bío Wine Region
The Bío Bío winegrowing region is part of the Southern Chile wine region, together with the Itata Valley and Malleco. The Southern Chile wine region is mainly known for producing Pais red wine. However, in recent years Bío Bío has specialised in the production of foreign aromatic varieties such as Riesling and Gewürztraminer. White grapes count for the 45% of the vineyard are, but Pinot Noir alone counts for the 40%, keeping its crown for the most planted variety in the Bío Bío Valley.
Climate and Soil
The reason why the Bío Bío wine region started to grow more aromatic varieties is related to the peculiar climatic conditions of the area. Being the southernmost wine region of Chile, the climate is chillier, and vineyards are exposed to abundant rainfalls. Overnight temperatures dramatically decrease compared to daytime temperatures, which are not as hot as in the northern wine regions. The weather and climatic conditions are more suited to grow healthy aromatic white grapes.
The soil of the Bío Bío wine region is mostly alluvial. The main constituents of this water-deposited soil are clay and sand.
Red: Pinot Noir, Pais
White: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Muscat de Alexandria
Wines to Try in the Bío Bío Valley
In general, the Bío Bío Valley produces complex and aromatic wines. The best is probably Riesling. This German variety adapts to the cool weather of the Bío Bío Valley, and the result is a sweet and acid white wine. Many aromas can be taste just in one glass of Bío Bío Riesling: citrus, mango, sweet melon, and grapefruit.
Other notable whites from the Bío Bío wine region are Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Both feature a pale greenish-yellow color. Sauvignon Blanc has notable citrus notes which blend with herbal hints bringing freshness to the palate. Chardonnay is more complex, and it is characterized by fruity notes and mineral hints.
Let’s not forget that the most planted grape in the Bío Bío Valley is the Pinot Noir. This variety presents a deep ruby color, delicate aromas of berries with a delicate hint of tobacco and spices. The acidity of Pinot Noir from southern Chile leaves in the mouth an elegant aftertaste. Sparkling refreshing Rosé wines are also produced from Pinot Noir grapes.
Concepción is the biggest city south of the capital Santiago and it functions as the economic, trade and cultural centre of the south of Chile. The city is also known as ‘the Jewel of the Bío Bío’, being the capital of the Bío Bío region.
Concepción is a vibrant and active city that offers many attractions and activities to tourists. To better understand the artistic and cultural development of Concepción, make sure to visit de Casa del Arte art gallery. The museum is located inside the campus of the University of Concepción. Don’t let the grey and boring exterior intimidate you, inside you will discover an amazing artistic world.
To have a better taste of the local life and products, visit the Mercado do Gran Concepción. The central market is a bit far from the idea we might have of a busy market in South America, as it was recently renovated, and it is perfectly clean most of the time. However, you will get in touch with local people shopping the freshest products from the area around the city.
Talcahuano – Let’s Pull Up the Anchor!
This coastal town was the first military, fishing and industrial port in the entire Chile, and all the citizens are proud to remind it to everyone who visits.
Talcahuano is all about boats, fishing and navigation. Indeed, the main attraction of the city is the Museo Huascar. The museum dedicated to a battleship built in Britain for the Peruvian Army that was captured by Chile during the Battle of Angamos in 1879. The remains and the load of the ship are now in this museum, where they are kept under maintenance and preserved for future generations.
Nature to Discover Around Bío Bío
Laguna del Laja National Park – Shhh, Don’t Wake the Volcanos Up!
The Laguna del Laja National Park is located in the southern Andes, in the Bío Bío region. The name Laguna del Laja comes from a turquoise lake located on the eastern border of the park. The park was formed by the rest of the volcanic eruptions.
The National Park’s most famous attraction is the Antuco Volcano, a strombolian-type 2,979m-high active volcano. Another terrific mountain formation is the composite volcano of Sierra Veluda. The mountain has two glaciated sums, and the highest one is 3,585m.
Nahuelbuta National Park – Do you Know What’s a Monkey Puzzle Tree?
The Nahuelbuta National Park is located on the border between the Bío Bío and the La Arauncanía regions. The National Park is a reserve for monkey puzzle trees, a spices native of South America. The monkey puzzle is the national tree of Chile. The curious English name comes from the idea that climbing on that tree would ‘puzzle’, confuse, even a monkey. The oldest specimen in the Nahuelbuta National Park is 2,000 years old.
In here, the peaks don’t measure more than 1,600m and several trails for less expert trekkers are available.
Food to Try in the Bío Bío Valley Wine Region
Ensalada de Digüeñes – Orange Mushroom Delicacy
This vegetarian dish is very appreciated by Chileans and it’s actually very easy to make. First things first, digüeñes are a type of mushrooms that grows in the centre and south of Chile. The orange mushroom grows on very high trees called huelles and it’s usually picked in spring.
To make the salad, the mushrooms are mixed with onion, fresh coriander, lemon juice and whatever seasoning you like.
Prietas – An Easy and Tasty Recipe
Prietas are small sausages filled with blood that are either dried or cooked. In Chile prietas are a very popular dish and usually sausages are served with potatoes, tomatoes and onion.