The Choapa Valley, though small with only 96 hectares under vine, is a wine region that’s gaining in notoriety.
This northern area is in the narrowest part of Chile where the Andes meet the coastal range. The valley itself is further divided into two areas: Illapel and Salamanca which are known for their rocky soils with a base of clay, silt, and chalk.
The desert-like climate receives just 4.5 inches of rain per year, but it’s perfect for the region’s vineyards which are dominated by the production of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Choapa River, which flows from the Andes Mountains through the region to the Pacific Ocean, also helps to create a unique microclimate for the area. As a result, the wines are of high-quality with high acidity and low pH.
To date, there are no resident wineries in the area, but there are is an increased focus on the area by several producers. De Martino’s Syrah Legado comes from a 325m vineyard planted near Salamanca, Chile’s fabled center of witchcraft. It’s the only wine produced in Chile with this D.O.
Nevertheless, despite Choapa Valley’s its small size, this unique, northern-located area is making a name for itself with high quality reds worth seeking out.