Not by Cabernet alone does Chile live – Chile’s coastline, mountains, glaciers, and deserts allow for a wide range of grape varieties to thrive in its vibrant terroirs.
New York, NY, November 28, 2022 – Long known for its generous, juicy Cabernet Sauvignons, Chile’s wine-scape is undergoing dynamic change. The first Chilean vineyards, surrounding the capital city of Santiago, yielded very good wines, coming as no surprise since they sit on alluvial soils, like those of Bordeaux, with a warm and sunny climate cooled by the Andes’ downward airflow. With great quality growing conditions, Chilean winemakers could have contented themselves with this fruitful Central Valley, but the call of the unknown and the desire to seek out great – even unexpected – wines was inevitable. Spreading north and south throughout the narrow country, winemakers are continuously exploring new terroirs and are mostly taking grapes other than Cabernet Sauvignon with them.
Stretching 2,700 miles with mountains dominating 80% of its land mass, Chile hosts a wide range of climates, including Tropical, Desert, Mediterranean, and Tundra. To complement these diverse climate conditions, natural geographical barriers isolate the country from pests and diseases: the Atacama Desert in the north, the glaciers in the south, the Andes mountains range to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west.
“This unique combination of climates and geographical barriers, allow for many grape varieties to thrive”, says Alejandro Galaz, Cool-Climate Winemaker at Ventisquero, “from classical Bordeaux varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon, Carménère, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc), cool climate varieties (Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir), and Mediterranean varieties (Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Mataro).”
On a quest to create cool-climate wines, Ventisquero established vineyards in locations influenced by the ocean current’s chill and mountain elevation. Three examples of Ventisquero cool-climate wines pushing the envelope of excellence are:
- Grey Pinot Noir from Las Terrazas Vineyard in the Leyda Valley, located just over four miles from the Pacific Ocean leading to an intense coastal influence. The climate here is so consistently chilly that average summer and winter temperatures vary a maximum of 10 degrees Fahrenheit between the warmest and coolest months of the year.
- Héru Pinot Noir from Tapihue Vineyard in the Casablanca Valley, just 15 miles from the Pacific Ocean, yet at a high altitude of 920-1,300 feet about sea level.
- Tara Chardonnay from the Longomilla and Nicolasa Vineyards in the Atacama Desert – the driest in the world – where the vines are planted under unpolluted, near-cloudless, northern skies where year-round temperatures average 59-66 degrees Fahrenheit.
Due to their cool-climate sites, these three wines enjoy long cellar maturation prior to bottling. The Grey Pinot Noir ages 12 months, the Héru Pinot Noir stays in barrel 14 months, and the Tara Chardonnay spends between 18 and 20 months in 50% concrete eggs and 50% unoaked foudres.
Tasting the wines attests to their extreme climate sites. These are not punchy, rounded, ripe, and flowing wines but rather, tingly, hair-raising, textured, precise and minerally wines. They show best at cellar temperature – even the Chardonnay, like the cool-terroir they came from.
This holiday season celebrate with the memorable and unexpected Ventisquero Wines!
Ventisquero winery was first established in 1998 in the Maipo Valley in Chile, later expanding to Casablanca, Colchagua, Leyda, and Huasco Valleys. Ventisquero has taken on the challenge of delivering quality wines that are unique and express the country’s passion for winemaking.
Passionate about the earth and its origins, Ventisquero’s winemakers possess an innovative spirit that combines curiosity, creative freedom, a willingness to take risks, and an intense exploration of the senses. Certain that passion and nonconformity produce better wines, these winemakers experiment and challenge the established way of doing things. As a result, Ventisquero wines are truly a step beyond.
Visit ventisquero.com for more information, and ventisquerowineclub.com to purchase these fine wines.