Chile is a red wine country with less than 30% of vineyards dedicated to the production of white wine. To a certain extent that is a little surprising since Chile is blessed with significant cool climate vineyards, but as an exporter of wine ultimately the marketplace determines the bulk of what is planted and it looks as though Chilean white wines have lagged in acceptance.
Today Chardonnay remains the most common variety but Sauvignon Blanc is closing in fast and most likely will over-take Chardonnay in the near future. Plantings along the Coast in San Antonio and Casablanca have proven to be exceptionally successful, producing the light, zesty fruit driven wines that the world loves yet with more backbone and focus than is commonly found at the price points on offer. As with any region there is also evolving interest in other varieties with Viognier and Riesling both showing promise even if they make up a tiny part of Chile’s production.