The best wines from the best terroir
The stunning Aconcagua Valley
The Aconcagua, affectionately called the Colossus of America, is the highest peak in the Andean cordillera. The deep valley on the Chilean side is home to awe-inspiring landscapes and a Mediterranean-style climate that’s perfect for growing Bordeaux grape varieties. Bodegas are few and far between here, but they offer great quality.
Errázuriz, a leading Chilean family
With Spanish Basque origins, the Errázuriz family has given Chile several notable individuals, including two presidents of the republic and two archbishops. Don Maximiano, who founded the bodega, was a mine owner. Upon returning from a trip to Europe, he saw to the planting of 300 hectares of vines in Panquehue. His son Rafael added another 400 hectares, making Viña Errázuriz the largest private winery in the world.
The Chilean wine boom
The first Chilean attempts at winemaking date back to approximately 1550, when dry wine was produced for use during mass. It wasn’t until the 19th century that more palatable wines were made here, thanks to the efforts of visionaries like Don Maximiano, who imported Bordeaux vines. What a fortunate turn of events! When many wineries were decimated by phylloxera, the only vineyards that were spared were those in Cyprus, New Zealand and Chile. This prompted French winegrowers to travel to South America and make imitation Bordeaux wines—an initiative that ultimately proved very successful.
The new El Dorado of wine
In the 1980s, Eduardo Chadwick Claro and his contemporaries organized the Chilean viticultural industry and made major investments in their operations. After Viña Errázuriz partnered with Robert Mondavi, the quality of the estate’s wines blossomed and eventually won a now-legendary blind taste test in Berlin in 2004. Since then, Viña Errázuriz—with its multiple-award winning iconic wines—has been considered one of the most prestigious wineries in the world.
Carmenere, a miracle variety
This variety is a Bordeaux native, but it was completely wiped out in Europe by phylloxera. Carmenere survived in Chile, where an inspired aristocrat had imported a few vines before the crisis. For years, this variety was all but forgotten, until 1991, when growers noticed that a few Merlot plants in a certain vineyard were different from the rest. DNA tests revealed that Carmenere had been revived. Since then, this black grape known for its notes of chocolate, cherry and spice has become the standard-bearer of Chilean wine.
Rocking out in the vines!
Francisco Baettig has been the estate’s lead winemaker since 2003. In an interview with Wine-Searcher, this friendly and upbeat individual admitted that when working in the vineyard, he and his crew listened to Iron Maiden. “Harvest is a little bit like rock: very tense and energetic!”