An Introduction to Maule Valley
Located about 250 km south of Santiago in the valley between the coastal mountains and Andes, the Maule Valley was one of the first areas in Chile where vines were planted, and its viticulture history stretches back to the start of colonization. For many years, the region was known more for quantity rather than the quality, similar to the Central Valley of California. But in recent years it has attracted renewed attention. Since the mid-1990s, new technologies have been introduced, allowing the region to improve the quality of its wines. Maule was where Merlot was originally determined to be Carmenere, and those who did not rip out their vines now enjoy some of the oldest Carmenere vines in Chile. More recently, some of the region’s winemakers have “rediscovered” the old vineyards of Carignan and Cinsault, which are grown on very old (more than 50 years old) vines.