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Maipo Valley
Maipo Valley is perhaps Chile's most famous wine region. It is also arguably the finest for premium red wines. Maipo is located a bit south of Santiago, with part of the appellation actually within the city limits, making it one of the few in the world that are in a similar position. The western half of the region is not considered as important as the eastern portion, as the wines from western Maipo are from vineyards that are located at lower elevations. It is the eastern portion of Maipo, just southeast of Santiago, that is home to the area's finest wines.

The heart of the region is Alto Maipo ("higher Maipo"), where vineyards are situated between 1200 to 2500 feet above sea level; at these altitudes, temperatures are not as hot as in the valley below and yields are naturally limited. Maipo in general has a Mediterranean climate that aids in producing wines of excellent structure, as moderate temperatures ensure very good acidity and freshness. Alto Maipo is red wine country, most notably Cabernet Sauvignon, while Merlot and Syrah are also planted in good numbers. There are many old Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards (40 years plus) in Alto Maipo, and several local producers release special selection wines that offer great breeding and varietal character; these wines have great length on the palate and finish and can age well for several decades. While Chile is definitely a new World wine country, the best wines from Alto Maipo, represent the heritage of the Old World in their approach, as the wines have very good acidity, something not always seen in today's red wines in the Western Hemisphere. (Wine/Appellations)