Chile Vintage Chart: 2001 to 2021


2021 was the wettest vintage in Chile since 2016, with January experiencing some of the highest precipitation in 70 years. High humidity during the growing season was an issue in all but the driest areas, resulting in the need for vigorous selection in the vineyard and winery. Northern Chile suffered the least from disease pressure. A long, cold spring was long and cool, short summer resulted in some zesty, lean Sauvignon Blancs, with a bit more greenness than in 2020, and delicate Chardonnays. Reds are generally fresh. While localised frost led to some problems with fruit set, overall yields were up from 2020. (Report from Samantha Cole-Johnson)


Chile’s 2019 winter was dry and warm. The vine roots warmed up early and by mid September, early varieties like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir had already seen budburst in certain areas. Early frost in Casablanca and Curicó caused localised damage. In the first days of October, much of Chile saw temperatures drop below 0 °C (32 °F) for three days. Colchagua was worst hit but frost damage was seen as far south as Itata, leaving northern areas untouched (see this map of Chile’s winegrowing regions). While November 2019 was one of the warmest for Chile in the last century, on the 25th a final frost hit Maule and Itata. The hardest-hit areas lost up to 50%, though overall yields were down just 13% over 2019.

The summer heat and continues lack of water caused vines to stopped vegetative growth early and by the first week of March, a month early, Central Valley winemakers began picking reds. The heat made for urgency, and the picking window contracted from the usual two months to just three weeks. Labour was hard to come by, and those without it struggled to get their crop in before it was overripe. For those that did manage to get in the fruit in before overripe, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, Syrah and Carmenère seem to have fared particularly well. Whites tend to be ripe and round. (Report from Samantha Cole-Johnson)


As in South Australia, drought conditions lowered yields across Chile in 2019. As a consequence, smaller bunches have produced concentrated, generous fruit. Coastal areas were able to retain more acidity thanks to the cooling ocean influence.


A good vintage for both quality and quantity was welcomed across most of Chile. Much-needed winter rainfall replenished water levels, followed by a dry, slow ripening season that allowed good flavour accumulation with low disease pressure. Early indications are that 2018 will be the best vintage Chile has enjoyed for several years, with varietal character particularly noteworthy in white wines.


After severely damaging fires that raged across large areas of southern Chile in early 2017, the grape harvest started early in 2017. A generally warm year has produced ripe fruit flavours which can be jammy in some reds.


An El Niño year generated an unusual amount of rain, especially in Casablanca, Rapel, Maipo and Colchagua. Red varieties were most affected, as the worst of the rain came after most whites had been harvested. The result is a 25% reduction in yield and very variable quality. The only saving grace may be lower alcohol and fresher acidity in the best wines.


A very early harvest after higher-than-average temperatures throughout the seasons translated into lower acidity levels, requiring attentive handling in the winery to achieve balance.


Widespread frost caused crop loss of up to 70%, but what remained made very good quality wine, showing plenty of concentration and complexity.


Cool weather that was better for later ripening varieties – so Carmenère is especially promising. Early ripeners such as Sauvignon Blanc were less good, with unripe characteristics.


A cool vintage, thanks to La Niña. Grapes were universally healthy at harvest, and yields were up to 18% higher than average. Quality is good, with impressive varietal typicality.


Another cool year, with many whites recording very low alcohol levels. Elegance and balance are keywords, in a similar style to 2010.


The year of the earthquake, which struck Maule and Curicó on February 27. Mercifully, the growing season was already late, allowing producers to recover as best they could in time for harvest. Overall it was a cool year, best suited to varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.


Warm and healthy for whites, with Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay both achieving good quality levels. Certain red varieties suffered from dehydration again – Merlot most notably – and alcohol levels were high.


A very cold and long winter, leading to considerable frost damage. Summer was then very hot and dry, leading to widespread drought. Dehydration was a problem, especially in Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.


Harvested roughly 10% less than usual. White varieties had good natural balance, and there was little call for acidification. Reds were moderately lighter in alcohol than average, with high acidity giving a particularly fresh style. For a more detailed analysis of this vintage, click here.


Moderately cooler than 2005, and generally healthy in the vineyard at harvest time. Rounded, balanced tannins with modest concentration made reds better for short or medium term cellaring, but not long term.


Outstanding, with a long growing season and mild temperatures. Quality was much admired across all varieties and regions (although some Chardonnay in Casablanca suffered from moderate rot).


Far more challenging than 2003, with a cold winter and some hard frosts. Nevertheless, quality was good, thanks to a hot early summer followed by cooler conditions towards harvest.


Conventional, undramatic weather across the country. Quality is excellent across most varieties and regions. 


Extensive rain and rot damage in the south, but was dry and healthy in the north, albeit with yields up to 25% below the norm.


A hot, dry summer with making concentrated reds, especially Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenère.