Francisco CorreaSenior Trade Commissioner
Trade Commissionof Chile in Los Angeles
Lilian Rodriguez Walker, Deputy Trade Commissioner|
Francisco Correa, Chilean Trade Commisioner
ProChile Los Angeles
Chile: A Surprising Country
A long sliver of a country in southwestern South America, Chile’s striking, diverse geography never ceases to surprise. Its bountiful agricultural valleys lie at the foot of the imposing Andes Mountain Range, looking down on the Pacific Ocean. This long, thin country captivates visitors with its warm, efficient and enterprising people, as well as with its democratic institutions.
A mere 180 km wide on average, Chile is 4,300 km long from the border with Peru on the north to the Strait of Magellan on the south. Sheltered by the Andes on the east and the Pacific Ocean on the west, Chile is all but impervious to foreign pests and disease.
Chile borders on Peru to the north, Bolivia and Argentina to the east, the South Pole to the south and the Pacific Ocean to the west. The north is rich in mining and marine resources. Central Chile, home to the nation’s capital, is a major agricultural and industrial hub. In the south, rich fisheries and forest resources are managed under stringent conservation and environmental protection standards.
A seemingly limitless coastline, deep-blue lakes, tall volcanoes, soaring glaciers, green valleys, lush native forests and parched deserts are just some of the vistas that surprise visitors to this land of marked contrasts. To the north, the bone-dry expanses of the Atacama Desert. To the south, breathtaking Patagonia. In between the majestic Andes and the vast Pacific Ocean, vineyard-dotted green valleys and vast native forests.
This remarkable range of climates and sceneries make Chile an unsurpassed destination for nature lovers, who can choose from mountain climbing, horse riding, skiing, archaeological trips and wildlife observation to swimming and diving, white-water rafting, kayaking in rivers and fjords, navigation amongst ice floes or visits to ritual Easter Island sites.
In 2012 Chile welcomed more than 3,5 million visitors. Most came from Argentina (1,232,915), Brazil (348,827), and Bolivia (315,897). Some 349,652 visitors came from Europe and 158,419, from United States of America.
Lori J. TieszenExecutive Director
Wines of Chile USA
Chile’s Unique Wine Geography
Chile’s geographic barriers make Chile a veritable agricultural island. Together they help maintain healthy conditions and protect vineyards against pests and disease.
The combination of beneficial natural barriers and a benevolent Mediterranean climate make sustainability and organics a logical choice in Chilean winegrowing. In fact, Chile has some of the largest organic vineyards in the world.
Chile’s Mediterranean climate features the warm, dry summers and cold, rainy winters that vines love. Even better, the interaction between the effects of the sea and those of the Andes result in a growing season that revels in bright sunny days and temperatures that take a dramatic dip each night to create the broad daily temperature oscillation that wine grapes need to develop fresh fruit flavors, crisp acidity, and in the case of red wines, ripe tannins, deep color, and high levels of antioxidants and flavonols.
Altitude with Attitude
All things Chilean seem to bear an indelible mark imprinted upon them by the omnipresence of the ice-capped mountains that tower over the valleys below. In recent years, more and more vineyards creep closer and higher to the peaks, where the sun is slow to appear over the eastern peaks and makes up for its late arrival with the intensity that comes with altitude. Currents of wind climb and descend over the course of the day to create a daily pendulum of temperatures that swings broadly between daytime highs and night time lows. This is just what rich red grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon thrive on.
Cruising down the Center
Chile’s long stretch of Pan American Highway cruises straight through the Central Valley, over the rivers that flow westward from the Andes and around the sections of the Coastal Mountains that jut inland from time to time. Varieties such as Carmenere adore this even keel of an environment, where the weather is stable and the land is generally rich.
Cool on the CoastAnyone who’s ever had a dip in the Pacific Ocean knows that it is cold! And when it smacks up against the coast it makes its presence known. It blankets the land with a thick cool fog each morning and then blows it away again by noon to allow the bright sunshine… just the type of conditions that cool-climate grapes such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir thrive on.
Whichever direction you look, Chile’s highly diverse geography and beneficial climate makes Chile the Logical Choice in Wine for today’s consumers who demand high quality and ecologically sound practices.
Wine is always best with food, and wine lovers will have no problem finding great dishes to go with whatever is in their glass. Chile is an agricultural country with a long coastline, so the supply and variation of fresh ingredients from land and sea is vast. Most Chilean cuisine consists of simply prepared, hearty fare based on beef, lamb, fish, shellfish, and seasonal fruits and vegetables. Typical dishes include pastel de choclo, a meat and corn pie served in clay bowls; empanadas filled with beef, cheese, or shellfish; and machas, razor clams on the half shell. Grilled meats are popular, and restaurants offer mixed grill parrilladas served on braziers, and a wide assortment of seafood is available in every form imaginable.
Eating in Chile is not all about tradition, however. Many chefs put the wide range of excellent ingredients to use in impressive gourmet dishes. And today, many wineries have charming restaurants that offer fine dishes inspired by fresh local ingredients especially prepared to highlight the house wines.
Whatever your food choice, in Chile, you will always find an ideal selection of wines to pair beautifully with your meal.
Fernando Carrasco SpanoGerente Comercial
Deleyda Olive Oil
The founding partners searched for, explored, and considered some twenty properties before arriving at Huerto La Marquesa de Leyda in Chile’s V Region. They were captivated by the emerging valley’s characteristics, took a bet on this essentially untapped area of Chile, and began planting the first 100 hectares in 2006. From their very first harvest in 2008, the fruit (olives) have shown a pronounced concentration of aromas and flavors due to the cool climate and slow ripening of the olives. With a total of 205 hectares, the property has the capacity to produce 2 million kilos of olives per year.
Planting began at second property in Pumanque (VI Region) called El Cerrillo in late 2008. There are now 160 hectares planted in this area with a strong Mediterranean climate and many hours of sunlight. Yields are somewhat higher than those in Leyda, but the fruit is of very good quality.
El Cerrillo also has a small, high-tech mill that allows processing on site for extracting special characteristics in certain varieties.
Located 90 km (56 mi) from Santiago, and just a short distance from the sea, Leyda lies between the Coastal Mountain Range and the Pacific Ocean and is known for its rolling green hills and sea breezes.
Its name comes from a derivation of the Spanish typically spoken in Chile’s central zone. From 1912 to 1987 the train between San Antonio (on the coast) and Santiago (the capital) passed through the area “a la ida” (along the way), and local residents eventually shortened it to “le ida.” The name was later “Frenchified” to Leyda, as we know it today.
This cool climate sector with clearly defined seasons and a low daily temperature oscillation has earned fame in recent decades for producing wines with tremendous aromatic and gustatory complexity, putting this corner of Chile on the map. It now also produces exceptional quality extra virgin olive oil.
Anamaria CarrilloOlv Olive Oil
OLV oil comes from three groves located in the Central Valley of Chile. Optimal weather and luminosity derived from long sunny summers and short mild winters, are part of the Valley’s exceptional conditions for olive culture. Natural geographic barriers at all four cardinal points protect the olives from pests:
To the East, the Andes, the second largest mountain chain in the worldTo the North, the Atacama, recognized as the driest desert,
To the West, the Pacific Ocean, the deepest ocean in the World and ,
To the South, Antarctica, land of the coldest glaciers
These state owned groves cover more than 2500 acres, hence allowing the company to maintain absolute control of their olives quality starting from the moment each tree is planted.
Olives are harvested between April and June, when the olives are half colored after the long and warm summer. The harvest is manual and each olive is handpicked and carefully selected.
The press, inside the plantation, processes olives within 24 hours of harvest, preserving all the natural, rich, herbal flavors, minimizing rancidity and ensuring acidity below 0.5%. All the oil is extra virgin, using no heat or solvents in the process and the short time which elapses from harvest to extraction ensures minimal oxidation.
Olv is proud to be environmental friendly as all the oil is produced during the first press and the waste product is used as fertilizer for the grove or as fuel for the process.
Paulina Peñaloza Montealegre
Domo Foods is a Chilean Specialty Food Company that specializes in Latin/Italian Food. Domo manufactures and distributes premium food products for the specialty food consumer combining old Italian recipes and native Chilean ingredients. Its Mission is to deliver a Fusion of Old World Tradition and New World Taste.