The Colchagua Valley is probably Chile's most famous wine-growing region and the home of legendary Chilean winemakers such as Montes and Casa Lapostolle. Clos Apalta, one of the first real premium vineyards, is also located here. The wines under this name achieve top prices that are close to those of classified Bordeaux or Bourgogne 1er Cru wines.
A total of about 11,000 hectares are under vines in the Colchagua Valley, which was proclaimed "World's Best Wine Region" by Wine Enthusiast magazine in 2005. The soils here are composed of clay, sand and weathered granite and provide a good home for a wide range of grape varieties in varying proportions.
In the warm, Mediterranean climate with cool nights, red wine varieties thrive just as well as the white wine varieties typical of the country. In addition, the Cordilleras here also allow the cold Pacific air to pass into the valley in some places.
Most producers today have very modern cellar technology and are managing their vineyards in an increasingly sustainable manner, especially in light of the consumption of natural resources such as water. At the vanguard of these sustainable methods is the star winemaker Aurelio Montes, who has done pioneering work here in many respects.
The Colchagua Valley is also home to Bodega Vina Los Vascos, an important joint venture with significant participation by Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) from Bordeaux.