Central Valley, McLaren Vale

In terms of viticulture the central valley of chile (spanish: valle central) spans the o'higgins region (vi) and maule region (vii) administrative regions and the administrative metropolitan region, and is the main growing zone for chilean wine and coincides with the historical core of the chilean central valley.

This is chile's most productive and internationally known wine region, due predominately to its proximity to the national capital santiago.

It is located directly across the andes' from one of argentina's wine regions: mendoza province. Within the central valley there are four wine growing region subregions: the maipo valley, the rapel valley, the curicó valley and the maule valley.
The McLaren Vale wine region is located less than an hours drive south of Adelaide, straight down the picturesque coastline.

Shiraz is by far the most widely planted variety, and the most important variety for the region, accounting for about 50% of the total crush. Every winery in the region will likely be producing at least one or more Shiraz wines, and with the wide range of unique terroirs available, each influenced by the maritime climate in unique ways, each Shiraz will have its own regional nuances.

Shiraz produced in McLaren Vale will often exhibit chocolate and coffee notes, with a little less pepper than those from Barossa Valley, and are often blended with Grenache. Other red varieties grown include Cabernet Sauvignon (and Merlot blends) Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Petit Verdot, Tannat and Zinfandel. The main white variety would be Chardonnay, however Sémillon and it's common blending partner Sauvignon Blanc are made, alongside lesser amounts of Riesling, Pronto Bianco, Vermentino and Fiano.

If you plan to visit McLaren Vale there are over 65 cellar doors so you'll be spoiled for choice, ranging from the small-boutique wineries to very large wineries. The drive from McLaren Vale up to the Barossa Valley is very scenic, passing over the rolling Adelaide Hills, and though the quaint German-settled town of Hahndorf.
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