Could Syrah and Grenache be Chile’s ‘next Cabernet’?

Chris Losh

Chris Losh

12 February 2018

Every restaurant in the country has a Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon. But perhaps it’s time to make room for an extra listing: Chilean Rhone varieties.

‘We will be seeing more and more Grenache coming out of Chile,’ said Juan Pablo Quijada, commercial director of winery MontGras. ‘It used to be used like País for bulk wine, but more of those producers in the south are bottling it as a varietal wine.’

As well as these older vines being bottled as varieties, according to Quijada, a growing number of producers have also been experimenting with new plantings of the grape over the last decade, and these vines are now becoming fully productive.

It is, he says, a similar story with Syrah, with plantings growing at 20% a year.

‘It’s probably the easiest variety to grow in the whole of Chile, far easier than Pinot Noir or Carmenere,’ he told Imbibe. ‘It works everywhere from Leyda to Colchagua and in the south, too. You will see a whole lot of Syrah in the years to come.’

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