Known for its Carmenère vineyards, Colchagua is home to some of Chile’s biggest names in wine. Alistair Cooper MW highlights the rising stars to keep an eye on – plus his top 12 wines to try, available exclusively to Premium members.

The crackle of excitement in the air was palpable amid the sound of popping corks and clinking glasses. In central Santa Cruz, 30 Colchagua-based micro-producers had gathered to showcase their wares.

‘People think that interesting small producers are only found in the south of Chile, in Itata and Maule, and that Colchagua is merely home to the glitzy, big producers,’ says my host and the event organiser, Francisco Zúñiga, a passionate local sommelier.

‘This is not the case. Colchagua is the most exciting region in Chile right now, teeming with innovation and experimentation.’ Following the tasting, and several days visiting producers of all sizes, it’s hard to argue with this claim.


 


Alistair Cooper MW spent years working for wineries in Argentina and Chile. He is a regular Decanter contributor and judge, and the resident wine expert for BBC Radio Oxford


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