The Curico Valley is a winemaking region located in the central part of Chile. This wine region includes the two sub-regions of Teno in the north and Lontue in the South. The wines produced in the Curico Valley are well known for being reliable, excellent value for money, and everyday drinking wines. The most popular of the Curico Valley wines are the Cabernet Sauvignon and the Sauvignon Blanc.
The Curico Valley wine producing region of Chile is located approximately 185km from the country’s capital of Santiago. The vineyards of the Curico Valley include more grape varietals than anywhere else in the country. This means that a wide range of wines can be produced, satisfying the palates of many wine drinkers. The most commonly plated grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc, which initially put this wine region on the international wine map.
The eastern regions of the Curico Valley are located close to the Andes Mountains and for this reason, experience a cooler climate from the mountain breezes. It is in the cooler parts of the valley in the towns of Murico and Molino where most of the high-profile wineries of the region are located. The most acclaimed wineries that should not be missed in the valley are Echeverria, Montes, Vina San Pedro, Valdivieso, and Torres.
The first vines were planted in the Curico Valley in the mid-1800s but modern winemaking practices began here in the 1970s.
The soils of the region are varied and range from limestone to volcanic rock. These soils are far more fertile than the soils in other wine-producing regions of Chile and have been a major role player in the success of the wines of the region.
Sub-Regions of the Curico Valley
The Curico Valley wine region is divided into the sub-regions of Teno and Lontue. In the Lontue sub-region, wines are produced using mainly red grape varietals. These grapes produce wine that is intense and bold in character. Along with single varietal wines, the region also produces a number of red blends. In the Teno sub-region, the most successfully grown grape varietals are Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay. These are grown along the banks of the Teno river in a perfect Mediterranean climate.
Red Varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Carmenere, Syrah
White Varieties: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc
Curico Valley has Something for Every Palate
Within the Curico Valley a wide range of wines are produced which means that there is something for everyone to enjoy.
The Curico Valley Cabernet Sauvignon has an intense and dark ruby red color. This wine has a wonderful aroma with notes of wild preserved fruit, leather, and blackberries. When drunk, the wine has an elegant palate with tannins that are extremely smooth. The aftertaste of the Cabernet Sauvignon is prolonged with fruit flavors and notes of toasted bread.
Syrah from the Curico Valley has an intense cherry color. This wine is extremely expressive with notes of toast and redcurrant jam, finished with touches of tobacco, juniper, and dairy. The Syrah has a very broad palate with rounded tannins and long and elegant aftertastes.
Curico Valley blends have an elegant aroma with hints of black fruit jams and toasted bread. These wines have a complex and fleshy palate with notes of tobacco that create a delicious finish.
In recent times, the Pinot Noir grapes of the Curico Valley have also been used for the production of fruity sparkling wines. These wines have a wonderful golden color with fine bubbles. The aromas of this wine are of fresh floral spring flowers with a grand finish.
Curico is one of the most populated cities in Chile and is the bustling heart of the Curico Valley wine region. This city is best known for its delicious cakes and fruits and its international quality wine. The most popular attractions in Curico City are the Plaza de Armas de Curico, the Cerro Condell, the Vina las Pitras, the Curico Valley wine route, El Tranque de Rauco, and the Curico Mall.
Plaza de Armas – The Central Square of Curico
The Plaza de Armas de Curico is the central square in the city of Curico. The Plaza de Armas is unmissable as it is surrounded by green areas and trees. Every year the square comes alive with the hosting of the annual Harvest Festival in March. One of the main attractions at the festival is the fountain of wine, from which visitors can freely drink locally produced wines. The square is home to a number of heritage monuments including the kiosk, the central pool. The statue of Lautaro and the white sculptures. Visit the Plaza de Armas to experience the heart and soul of Curico.
The Curico Valley is a deep and extensive valley surrounded by some of the world’s most beautiful and magnificent mountains in the center of Chile. This valley and its natural beauty transport all who visit a magical natural wonderland.
Radal Siete Tazas National Park
The Radal Siete Tazas National Park is one of the most incredible landscapes in the Curico Valley. The name Siete Tazas means ‘seven cups’ and refers to the seven beautiful rock pools that are found inside the park. Along with the rock pools, the Radal Siete Tazas has a number of other attractions including rolling waterfalls, meandering rivers, and lush forests. The best time to visit the park is between the summer months from November to March. For those looking for a longer visit, there are cabins available and booking is recommended long in advance.
Lake Vichuquen – The Magnificent Snake Lake
Lake Vichuquen is a breathtakingly beautiful lake, covering over 40 square kilometers of land. The shores and bays of the lake are covered in eucalyptus and pine forests as well as modern tourist attractions and facilities. Activities for visitors to the lake include cycling, water skiing, sailing, fishing, surfing, swimming, windsurfing, picnicking, and photography. Lake Vichuquen is the perfect location for people of all ages to enjoy the wonderful outdoors in the perfect climate of the area.
The Lagunoa Torca National Reserve
The Laguna Torca National Reserve is a small nature reserve in the Curico Valley, covering only 1328 acres of land. The first area of the reserve is the Torca Lagoon area where visitors can enjoy watching over 106 species of birds. The second area of the reserve is the Lico Forest which is home to a number of exotic animal species. The reserve is wonderful for wildlife viewing and hiking trips. Inside the park, there are two hiking trails that are suitable for hikers of all abilities. For nature lovers and appreciators, this is a wonderful paradise of indigenous fauna and flora.
Hidden Gem – The Beautiful Commune of Molina
The city of Molina is a commune in the Curico Valley that is named after the Chilean Jesuit Juan Ignacio Molina. Molina is one of the most naturally beautiful places in the Curico Valley and its attractions include the Parque Nacional Radal Siete Tazas and the Parque Ingles. It is a paradise for nature lovers with many outdoor adventures including white water rafting, hiking, kayaking, canoeing, and walking. Although small, Moline has a wide range of accommodation to suit any type of traveler. This hidden gem of the Curico Valley is a hub of wonderful nature and exciting activities and adventures.
Fresh and Exciting Local Chilean Delicacies
The Curico Valley region is famousfor its wonderfully fresh cuisine and exciting range of local delicacies. This region is a true taste adventure for those who enjoy food and wine.
Sopaipillas – Flat Pumpkin Scones
Sopaipillas are traditional Chilean deep-fried bread buns or scones that are made using flour, cooked pumpkin, and lard. Sopaipillas can be bought from street vendors across Chile usually in the bustling bus stations, street corners, or at events. These delicious treats are most commonly eaten in the winter months. Before they are served, they are covered with a mixture of brown sugar orange peel, clove, and flour for extra flavor.
Charqui de Caballo – Dried and Flavoured Horse Meat
Charqui de Caballo is a local Chilean dish of horse meat that is dried and salted. This dish is extremely popular during the winter when there is less slaughtering of cattle. Charqui de Caballo be enjoyed as a snack or a main dish and pairs perfectly with a local Chilean red wine.
Pebre – Hot Chili Pepper Sauce
Pebre is a sauce that is made with onions, garlic, coriander and green hot chili peppers. These ingredients are cooked in a saucepan and then scooped with a spoon over a barbecue meal. In central chile there is always a bowl of pebre on every dinner table. Some versions of pebre include tomatoes. For those who enjoy the zing of spicy foods, pebre is a must taste when visiting Chile.
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Soil: Limestone, volcanic rock, alluvial and colluvial
Climate: Cool with an influence of Andes Mountains and Pacific Ocean