Vintae crosses the pond: the Chilean adventure. Chapter 2

By Ricardo Arambarri | Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

ABOUT VINEYARDS, BODEGAS AND PEOPLE

As we told you in the previous chapter of this adventure, we were more than sure that we wanted to start a project oriented towards the soil and old vineyards, but there were still three main aspects that needed specifying: the vineyard, the bodega and the people.

In our return to Spain after that first trip, we decided that we wanted to help in this project. We needed to find a trustworthy oenologist that new the country and, most importantly, that was lively and felt like starting a project of these characteristics. It was easy; as soon as we told Pedro Balda about it, he jumped to the occasion.

The second trip was made at the end of February, days before the harvesting period. It was an ideal moment to do some fieldwork and try some grapes. Pedro started to contact people and he organised an incredible trip. A trip in which, in addition to learning about everything in further detail and choosing the vineyards that would produce our first wine, we met lovely people that accompanied us throughout the journey towards our first wines.

On our arrival in Santiago, we were received by John and we went directly to our first meeting: Bodegas Odfield. There we met Arnaud Hereu, a Frenchman with Catalan origins and a Chilean heart, who showed us the bodega. Small vats, fudres (large round wooden barrels), egg shaped cement deposits, professional people… it was a great place to make our first bottles of wine.

Vintae Chile bodega

Vintae Chile vi√Īa caballo

That night, after getting lost a few times in the roads of the area with many “down here, no, it’s up there”, we arrived at Santa Cruz to have dinner with Ignacio C√°ceres. Ignacio is a friend that Pedro met in one of his previous trips to Chile. In a Peruvian-cuisine style restaurant in Santa Cruz and surrounded by piscolas (a typical Chilean drink), John and I had the opportunity of getting to know Ignacio quietly. With an education in oenology, experience in several harvesting periods (some of them in Spanish bodegas) and especially, a great person, we hit the nail on the head and found a trustworthy person in our moments of absence, which is a key aspect when a project is thousands of miles from home.

However, that dinner came with a hidden a surprise, which was the first clue of what we were going to do. Ignacio brought a bottle of wine made by a small winemaker friend of his. A Cinsaut 2013 called Trifulca: one of the two thousand bottles, clearly made with love and especially in a very respectful way, of an elegant wine with a very peculiar style that really caught our attention. Although it was the furthest of our destinations, we could not leave without visiting Huariligue.

On the next day and after getting up very early, we got on our way to Colb√ļn. There was Philippo Pszczolkowski, an eminence of the Catholic University of Santiago de Chile, awaiting us in his small and charming house. A living legend of the Chilean viticulture, Philippo had not only located and recovered minority varieties in old Chilean vineyards, but was also responsible for bringing Jean Michel Boursiquot to Chile. Jean Michele is a French specialist in ampelography who discovered that a large part of the Chilean vineyard was not originally Merlot but Carmenere, a variety that originates from the southeast of France and that had practically disappeared in France after the phylloxera.

vintae chile profesor

He and his wife treated us as if we were family, and we had a long and interesting conversation about the past, present and future of Chilean viticulture. Pure inspiration, just what we needed! There we discovered that the old Garnacha varieties (which were in our initial plans) were practically non-existent and most of them were young plantations.

In addition, we found out that the greatest concentration of young vineyards can be seen in the south (as we already suspected) and that the older ones are of the Pa√≠s variety (a vine that was brought by Spanish missionaries in the mid-19th century), followed by the Cari√Īena and Cinsault varieties. He gave us the contact of another person that would be essential in our project, Sergio Amigo, and before we had to leave, he showed us an interesting cave, which as we later were able to confirm was inspired by the caves of our neighbour village of La Rioja Briones, thanks to a visit that Philippo made there a couple of decades ago. There we enjoyed two vintages of his own personal project, Alta Alcurnia 2009 and 2010, with Carmenere as the main variety, made in a delicate way and seeking the soil‚Äôs expression. Again, we were able to see how that philosophy was catching on in the Andean country.

In high spirits and with the mind full of ideas thanks to the inspiration received from the professor, we went direction Cauquenes: the heart of the old Cari√Īena vineyards.
What we discovered there is enough to fill a whole chapter, so stay alert!

Vintae crosses the pond: the Chilean adventure. Chapter 1

By Ricardo Arambarri | Thursday, April 16th, 2015

HOW THIS ADVENTURE STARTED

Logro√Īo, 7 October 2013. We were walking through Calle Laurel, and while drinking wine and eating pinchos, John Obilinovic, a Chilean friend and partner in the USA importing Vintae wines, told me that his family had been talking about starting a wine project in Chile. We spent a long time talking about Chile. It is a land that has a strong connection with Spain and, particularly, with La Rioja (both Raul and my family have family ties in that land).

John: “Richi, would you like to start a wine project in Chile?” He would like to carry it out with us!At that point, I knew little about Chile as a producing country. I knew that it was a country that exported a lot, with a strong presence in the market that we were penetrating, with an approach to wine very much in line with the consumer’s tastes, with a chiefly varietal approach (Merlot, Cabernet, Carmenere, etc.) and, above all, with an extraordinary price-quality relationship. And that‚Äôs all.
John spent a long time describing how fascinating Chile is, its diverse climate, soils and especially (as phylioxera did not cross the Andes) the existence of some of the oldest vineyards in the entire world.

At Vintae, we are always hungry for new projects, new soils, new landscapes, unknown varieties and old vineyards, and therefore it started to sound like a challenge.
Honestly, at that moment, starting this project seemed rather farfetched, but slowly the more we analysed it, the more it made sense.
WHY NOT?

CHILEVintaew
As usual, the first step was to talk it with our people, our friends and customers from here and there… Always anxious to start new adventures, as I previously imagined, the answer was “GO FOR IT‚ÄĚ; they would support us.
By then, we were already late for the harvesting period of 2014 in Chile and we organised our first trip in November. The aim of the trip would be to soak in the reality of the Andean country.
And there we were Raul, John and I starting the new adventure. Santiago, Casablanca, Curicó, Colchagua, Isla de Maipo. Visits to bodegas, vineyards, and tastings with oenologists and sommeliers. Seven days of going deep into the country, learning about it and respecting it before taking any steps.

chileVINTAEprimerviajew

My surprise was that it is a country with an impressive richness of climates, soils and vineyards. 4,329 Km from end to end, every type of climate, from the dessert to the South Pole, where the Pacific Ocean, the Andes and the coastal mountain range add even further diversity. On the other hand, I also realised that it was a country dominated by a few large-volume bodegas (very professional, by the way) that are concentrated mostly in the central valley, where the climate conditions are ideal for growing wine (with an abundance of water, but almost no rainfall in the summer).

However, what I most liked was my discovery of another Chile, a country with extreme climates, old gobelet-trained vineyards with vines brought by missionaries centuries ago and ancient winemaking traditions that reminded me of those of the past in Spain. A Chile of natural producers that bottle this landscape, this essence and this tradition and that is modestly starting to make itself known to the entire world.
That is the Chile we have signed up for!!!
And this is the end of the first chapter of this adventure, leaving you with a taste for more. The second chapter will arrive very soon! Be alert.

#vintaegramming February and March

By Raquel Viejo Orna | Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

Hi! Today we bring you a new installment of #vintaegramming section corresponding to February and March. Here we will gather a treasure chest of photos uploaded by you to Instagram and that include the hashtag #vintae or in which we have been tagged.
And if you upload any photos of our wines to Instagram you can tag us if you wish, follow us at @vintae ;-) Many thanks for all the pics!

The family is growing: Grand Libalis and Libalis Red

By Vintae | Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

Those of you who know Vintae a little know that we are restless, we like changes, evolution and we are constantly coming up with new things.
Today, we present you two new wines, or to be more precise, a new one and a renewed one.

NuevosLibalis

The renewed GRAND LIBALIS maintains the spirit and name of its predecessor, but it has been changed inside and outside, that is, the wine and its container.
The touch of Riesling provides a nice balance and complexity to the Muscat à Petits Grains. The grapes are selected with great care and the process focuses on extracting their best qualities. The result: tropical fruit, honey, marmalade and balsamic notes. It is a silky, glyceric wine with a pleasant fruity sweetness. In short, a GREAT white wine.

LibalisGrandyred

On the outside, it has experienced a radical change; it is closer to the hedonistic and cheeky spirit of the collection, although maintaining a touch of elegance thanks to the contrast of black and gold.
We also bring you LIBALIS RED, the first red wine of the collection. It follows the line of the Libalis wines thanks to the special touch that the Muscat à Petits Grains provides the Garnacha variety.

LibalisReddetalle
It is a very aromatic and sound wine. On the palate, it is very tasty and light with a predominance of red fruit on both the palate and the nose.
What? Do you feel like trying them? They are already arriving at the shops, restaurants and wine merchants. Tell us what you think about them!

Download technical sheets: Libalis Red and Grand Libalis.

RedLibalis-GrandLibalis

#vintaegramming January

By Raquel Viejo Orna | Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Hello everybody!
Today we bring you a new section of the blog, a section where we will gather every month a treasure chest of photos uploaded by you to Instagram and that include the hashtag #vintae or in which we have been tagged. And, the truth is, you take a bunch of cool photos of our wines and we do not want anybody to miss out for not having an Instagram account (although you can open an account yourself too; it is one of the most fun and entertaining social networks that we know).
So, we are starting with the month of January of 2015. I hope you like the photos! And if you upload any photos of our wines to Instagram you can tag us if you wish, follow us at @vintae

Many thanks for all the pics!

El Pícaro by @viikonviini

El Pícaro by @viikonviini

Bienbebido by @yolycaser

Bienbebido by @yolycaser

Libalis by @ingridsasa

Libalis by @ingridsasa

La Garnatxa Fosca del Priorat by @janeyb100

La Garnatxa Fosca del Priorat by @janeyb100

El Recio by @bariturroiz

El Recio by @bariturroiz

Matsu by @xavicalvache

Matsu by @xavicalvache

QP by @dehenares

QP by @dehenares

El Recio by @viikonviini

El Recio by @viikonviini

Le Naturel by @fotomas_digital

Le Naturel by @fotomas_digital

Le Naturel by @goyobastida

Le Naturel by @goyobastida

El Pícaro by @tibopuls

El Pícaro by @tibopuls

El Viejo by @pepdoncel

El Viejo by @pepdoncel

De Copas por Espa√Īa by @estercita_rjl

De Copas por Espa√Īa by @estercita_rjl

 

Squared Three by @tokyo_crianza

Squared Three by @tokyo_crianza

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