Part of the Central Valley, Curico Valley is located 120 miles south of Santiago and is the oldest wine region in Chile. The Curico Valley is split in to two main areas, one in the east towards the Andes, and the other towards the west closer to the Pacific Ocean. Before becoming a region in its own right, Curico was considered part of the Maule wine region, however today it is a well-respected and well-established region in its own right. Curico's climate is varied, depending on the location of particular vineyards. The eastern part of the region is generally cooler than the west as it is closer to the slopes of the Andes. In the west, the climate is warmer and drier, and this combined with alluvial soils create the perfect conditions for the production of red wines. The main grape varieties grown in this region include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Carmenere, favoured for their amounts of acid which help to balance out the rich ripe fruit. In the cooler vineyards nearer to the Andes, white grape varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Gewurztraminer produce well-balanced whites.