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Curico Valley Wine

Curico Valley is a wine-producing region in central Chile, located roughly 115 miles (185km) south of the capital, Santiago. It is divided into two sub-regions: Teno in the north and Lontue in the south. The valley is known for its reliable, good-value everyday wines, particularly the reds made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc.

Curico Valley in Autumn
Matt Wilson/Wines of Chile

Curico was the wine region of choice for Spanish wine legend Miguel Torres when he began his foray into Chilean wine in 1979. Torres brought with him from Spain a number of winemaking techniques and technologies which have had a significant impact on the Chilean wine industry. In those days, Curico was considered to be a southern part of the sprawling Maule wine region, but is now recognized as a region in its own right. The presence of several well-respected and well-established wineries in Curico almost certainly supported the case for its individual recognition.

The valley's climate is varied. The eastern part – closer to the Andes Mountains – is cooler than the western as it benefits from breezes coming down from the slopes of the Andes. In this way, it differs from regions further north, where the western ends of the valleys, being influenced by the Pacific Ocean, are generally cooler. In Curico, however, the hills of the Coastal Ranges dissipate the effect of east–west air movements. The major centers of production and the established names of Curico Valley wine (Echeverria, Montes, San Pedro, Torres and Valdivieso) are located around the cooler eastern towns of Curico and Molino.

The meltwater rivers Lontue and Teno that flow through Curico Valley before converging to form the Mataquito River have a significant effect on viticulture here. The region's soils are derived from limestone and volcanic rock from the Andes and have been deposited in the valley over time by the rivers (alluvial) as well as by gravity (colluvial). While these soils are slightly more fertile than in other, more quality-focused wine regions of Chile, they are sufficiently high yielding to cement Curico Valley's reputation as a quality bulk-producing region.

Curico's vineyards are planted with more varieties than anywhere else in Chile. The dominant grapes, however, remain the same as they were when the region first appeared on the international wine map: Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. Curico may have yet to produce a Cabernet Sauvignon to rival Maipo's red wines and its Sauvignon Blanc still does not match the fresh, complex style found in Casablanca, but the valley is one of Chile's workhorse regions and its output is consistent and reliable.

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Here are some wines produced in this region.
Wine Name
Grape 
Popularity
Miguel Torres 'Manso de Velasco' Cabernet Sauvignon Viejas Vinas, Curico Valley, Chile Cabernet Sauvignon $42 2882
Echeverria Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, Curico Valley, Chile Cabernet Sauvignon $15 4473
Caliterra Reserva Sauvignon Blanc, Curico Valley, Chile Sauvignon Blanc $10 7805
Montes Classic Series Chardonnay, Curico Valley, Chile Chardonnay $11 13971
Apaltagua Reserva Pinot Noir, Curico Valley, Chile Pinot Noir $11 15784
Vina Requingua Puerto Viejo Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Curico Valley, Chile Cabernet Sauvignon $10 15875
Miguel Torres Conde de Superunda, Curico Valley, Chile N/A $49 20330
Quasar Selection Cabernet Sauvignon, Curico Valley, Chile Cabernet Sauvignon $11 20407
William Cole Columbine Special Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Curico Valley, Chile Cabernet Sauvignon $13 20741
Montes Late Harvest Botrytised Grapes Gewurztraminer, Curico Valley, Chile Gewurztraminer $29 21246
Aresti Limited Release Reserva Merlot, Curico Valley, Chile Merlot $10 22105
Santa Rita Gran Hacienda Sauvignon Blanc, Lontue Valley, Chile Sauvignon Blanc $10 22895
TerraMater Altum Cabernet Sauvignon, Curico Valley, Chile Cabernet Sauvignon $23 23969
Odfjell Orzada Malbec, Lontue Valley, Chile Malbec $18 24536
Aresti Estate Selection Sauvignon Blanc, Curico Valley, Chile Sauvignon Blanc $10 26611
Valdivieso Single Vineyard Merlot, Curico Valley, Chile Merlot $23 27490
Valdivieso Single Vineyard Malbec, Curico Valley, Chile Malbec $25 30509
Vina Requingua Puerto Viejo Reserve Carmenere, Curico Valley, Chile Carmenere $10 30681
Miguel Torres Santa Digna Reserva Gewurztraminer, Curico Valley, Chile Gewurztraminer $11 31443
Quasar Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, Curico Valley, Chile Cabernet Sauvignon $11 31643
Echeverria Reserva Merlot, Curico Valley, Chile Merlot $15 33526
Echeverria Classic Merlot, Curico Valley, Chile Merlot $11 34466
La Fortuna Culpeo Sauvignon Blanc, Curico Valley, Chile Sauvignon Blanc $11 34466
Miguel Torres Vendimia Tardia Riesling, Curico Valley, Chile Riesling $32 35210
Echeverria Classic Sauvignon Blanc, Curico Valley, Chile Sauvignon Blanc $11 35975
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