Colchagua Valley - Climate
The primary factor that determines the superior quality of the wines from the Colchagua Valley is its special and beneficial climate, which winemakers have described as ideal.
This valley has a Mediterranean climate with four very well-defined seasons, a strong alternating influence of Pacific maritime breezes and Andean winds. This generates ideal conditions for winegrowing, especially during the summer months (November to April), when the average difference between daytime and nighttime temperatures averages 22°C (40°F) (35 ºC / 95°F) max. – 13 ºC (55°F) min.), which allows for perfect, slow ripening of the grapes over the long summer season, thereby allowing the formation of complete and longer molecular chains in the fruit that result in better aroma and flavor.
This special climatic condition is determined by a unique valley geography marked by two mountain chains that continue from the Andes Mountains toward the sea, defining its basin and forming an ideal corridor for the winds that come from the ocean and the mountains, which thermo-regulate the valley temperatures.
Springtime is free of convective frosts and only very occasionally is it affected by polar type frosts during the autumn or winter, which does not affect the final quality of the grapes.
Rainfall is normally concentrated during the winter months of June through September with an average annual precipitation of 600 mm (24 inches). Rainfall is rare during the harvest season, which normally takes place between mid-February and late April (late summer and early autumn), which allows growers to wait for the ideal maturity level in each variety.
The accumulation of snow in the Andes as a product of winter rains ensures that sufficient water will be available to supplement the vineyards during the spring and summer months.
The Colchatgua Valley has clean, clear skies, without the smog generated in the large urban centers, which allows for perfect and ideal solar radiation.