Oh, you guys. Chile is a lot more complicated than I initially thought it would be. Help me break it down a bit?
Chile’s winegrape growing region is a long skinny one, with vineyard plantings spanning over 900 kilometers from north to south, but just 100 kilometers from east to west. The four key geographical features that define the area are 1) the Pacific Ocean to the West along with the coastal ranges 2) the Andes to the east 3) two mountain ranges that merge just north of Santiago and 4) the great depression between the two ranges to the south of Santiago creating what is called the Central Valley.
[Answer(s) and information based on WSET Level 3 material]
Chile has a warm, Mediterranean climate. One major vineyard concern is drought, as the regions are dry and sunny and experience minimal annual rainfall. Although irrigation is utilized, water for irrigation is in short supply. The other concern comes with the weather: El Niño and La Niña. El Niño refers to periods of dramatically increased rainfall levels; La Niña refers to periods of excessive drought.