Talca (tälˈkä) [key], city (1990 est. pop. 164,500), capital of Maule region, S central Chile, in the central valley of Chile between Santiago and Concepción. Chile's greatest wine-producing area, Talca is also one of its largest manufacturing centers, with distilleries, foundries, a tannery, and factories making matches, shoes, tobacco products, paper, and flour. Founded in 1692, Talca was prominent during colonial times. It was leveled by an earthquake in 1928, and has suffered significant damage from other earthquakes, most recently in 2010. At Talca on Feb. 12, 1818, Bernardo O'Higgins formally proclaimed Chile's independence.