0

Marketing,PR Advice,Wine,Wine Marketing

Wine Business Monthly’s September Issue ~ How companies grow their business online

[PHOTO: Purchased. All rights reserved.]

I was shocked, as I looked at the number comparisons between how small companies and mid-to-large wine companies participate, with their online promotions. I didn’t anticipate the disparities.

It’s in the September 2021 issue, of Wine Business Monthly’s “technology & business” section. I’ve made my passion and living by advocating for others, so one particular segment really caught my attention. It was the charts called, “How often do you use the following tools to promote your winery online?” The marketing activity habits are so fascinating, between the “Small Wineries” and the “Mid and Large Wineries.”

The larger the companies have much different views from the mom and pop side, with their on-line publicity use. The chart at the bottom of this story illustrates it clearly, if you’re looking toward growth, or even pulling back.

Let me tell you a short parable, about how to have the growth. It involves the extraordinary Robert Mondavi, as disclosed in his book: Robert Mondavi, Harvests of Joy (My passion for Excellence. How the Good Life became Great Business.)

Briefly, Robert’s life took a sharp turn, when he was in his 50’s. He was a marketer, who understood his audience, by looking at what was popular, what worked, and what didn’t, marketing and sales side was his side of his family’s business; his brother Peter was on the winemaking side. Robert didn’t disclose that he and his first wife Marjorie Declusin Mondavi were saving money they had earned in the family business. Who tells their siblings what they’re saving, right? Robert Mondavi and Marge were invited to the White House, to dine with John and Jackie Kennedy, during those magical, Camelot days.

The Easter when he announced, with such great joy he and Marge were going to the White House to dine, Marge was wearing the mink stole that they had bought for the occasion… let’s just say all hell broke loose. Peter sadly assumed the worst from his older brother, but Robert stated they had been saving… not necessarily for this moment, but they had the ability to go in great style. And they did.

The sad separation and then the liberating rebirth…

Okay, so how does this relate? Robert Mondavi knew it takes money to make money. When he was evicted from the Charles Krug Winery, he got friends together and started the iconic Robert Mondavi Winery. Apparent to me today is this: the Robert-Mondavi-legacy-man is our wine industry’s equivalent to the political industry’s Teddy Roosevelt. They both understood continued legacy; for Robert, The CIA at Copia and his UC Davis’ contributions: Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, which ultimately benefits mankind. That takes an extraordinary set-up. (Also an easy comparison; I just got back from Yellowstone.)

 

[PHOTO: Jo Diaz. All rights reserved.]

Robert thought really big. It’s apparent through his generous inclusiveness, and now his true legacy. It’s not just about growing it, harvesting it, and then just putting it by the side of the road, when looking to grow a business. It’s getting someone to be that cheerleader. Every company needs one, honestly, if they want to grow, stay alive, and pass things on today. It’s how companies grow their business online… right there in the numbers ~ how much time is spent in cheerleading.

[PHOTO: Purchased. All rights reserved.]

All interesting revelation. You can even see where the advocates should go after their jobs. It all depends on the growth all parties want to share.

Here’s the thing, keep all of this in mind as you evaluate these numbers. Robert – like some of the people I know in the wine business – worked very hard and with such passion. It’s shown in these numbers, for how much effort he put into running a small winery into his medium business, and then into the conglomerate it became. If mega growth is your ultimate goal here’s your prototype of what you should be doing… Which seems to mostly be the American way. For those of you with a roadside stand, that’s a lot of fun, too, isn’t it?

[PHOTO: Purchased. All rights reserved.]

How to for Small Companies, based on these figures

For this one, I now realize I have to take my own advice here. Seems like I’m just like the rest of the pack… I really detest blowing my own horn. It seems so egocentric. But, you know what? Who else is going to blow it? I’m not going to hire a publicist. Whoever has heard of a publicist having a publicist? My fail, and l know it well, is to take care of our Diaz Communications Facebook page, and to get some things onto our Instagram page. Hey, do we even have an Instagram page? Yes. I just had to check. We have a pitiful three posts. Good Lord!

I’ve got work to do. You’ve got work to do. This is the new normal. If you can’t afford to have a cheerleader, buy yourself a uniform and get started. Seems like a half hour a day devoted to your own news is well worth the time to create it. Think of is as your diary, because that’s what it really is, if you ever need an alibi.

[PHOTO: Wine Business Monthly. All rights reserved.]

 

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California,Carignan,Food & Wine,Grenache,Petite Sirah,Red Wine,Rosé,Sonoma County,Sonoma Valley,Wine

Mathis Wine ~ Sonoma Valley Lineup

Big picture, for some big wines; not over the top wines, just big in flavor, style, and design.

MATHIS WINES

 

Wines submitted for review

  • Sonoma Valley Grenache 2017, Mathis Vineyard – field blend ($32.00) 
  • Sonoma Valley Überblend 2017, Mathis Vineyard – Petite Sirah dominant red blend ($35.00)
  • Sonoma Valley Rosé de Grenache 2020, Mathis Vineyard – 100% estate Grenache ($22.50)
  • Sonoma Valley Rosé de Grenache 2019, Mathis Vineyard – 100% estate Grenache ($22.50)

The Journey Begins

Heading back to some Sonoma County California wines, from wines primarily of the world, it was a fun fun reminder of my own backyard. Wines from Peter Mathis, Peter is a new winemaker for me, but he’s not new to making wine, most certainly. When Peter Mathis began his odyssey to create and own his own label, he was on his right path. From his Website:

I’m Peter Mathis. I made wine at Ravenswood for more than 20 years. Mathis Vineyard, in the hills above Sonoma Valley, is my “old school” project. Here I cleared the land nearly twenty years ago and planted mostly Grenache, with some Carignane, Petite Sirah and Alicante Bouschet.

I grow it. I make it.

That’s his mantra… Now, if you also taste it, you might know what I wrote above, as to “flavor, style, and design.”

As he’s written on his Website, “Grenache is my passion.”

When I tasted the Grenache, it was just the right time. My last samples series took seven weeks of my time; it was one of my own odysseys, too. I’ve a busy life and I’m not into speed tasting, anymore. Like the first sip and glass itself, the wine in the bottle can continue to be savored as it morphs, without throwing it all back in one day. Every drop, until my focus changes.

Sometimes I combine business with pleasure. I was at a committee meeting recently. After photographing this image, I then tasted and took notes. The final step was leaving the bottle with our hosts. This time was spent with winemaker Mick Schroeter and fine artist Linda Schroeter. Mick had just arrived and spotted the bottle on the table. I told him he could have the rest of it. It was on the table for anyone to try, until we left it. (The committee has wine loving people and it’s what we do.)

He picked it up to get it into a cooler place and raised his eyebrows. The wine was just right. I had taken great care bringing it into 100-degree weather, only to be outside in a beautiful garden setting. He remarked, “We’re having beef for dinner,” and his smile said he was really looked forward to it.

My experience is that winemakers love tasting others’ wines. It’s a joy to give them wine. The level of appreciation is an honor to see and feel… It’s akin to returning to my joy from years ago, working for WBLM in Portland, Maine; from the days of photographing all those rock stars backstage, who were on tour. Today’s joy is witnessing wine’s own rock stars (terroir) in action.

MATHIS VINEYARD PHOTO

[PHOTO: by and of Mathis Vineyard: All rights reserved]

The Mathis Vineyard

All of Peter’s wines come from his small 7.5 acre vineyard, just north of Sonoma Plaza and downhill from Monte Rosso, as well as several other well-known Moon Mountain vineyards. Peter cleared the land, planted his vineyard, and continues to farm it… all by himself.

Quoting from Peter Mathis’ Website:

The Mathis Vineyard is 7.5 acres of glorious south facing slopes with low vigor volcanic soils – it’s heaven for red wine grapes. My neighbors fell to their knees in laughter when I planted it to my beloved Grenache – ha! –everyone thought I would plant Cabernet. But I was following the dream (cue theme from Sound of Music) that had been in my head since 1988. In what proved to be an exceptionally brutal winter, I cleared the land myself in ’97/’98 and got to planting in ’99 and 2000.

[PHOTO: Jo Diaz ~ All rights reserved]

  • Sonoma Valley Grenache 2017, Mathis Vineyard – field blend ($32.00) 
  • Sonoma Valley Überblend 2017, Mathis Vineyard – Petite Sirah dominant red blend ($35.00)

Overall these wines just rocked it. One after the other, slowly. By the fourth one – the Uber, I felt like southern Burgundy has some influence on the crafting of this one. Mostly Petite Sirah, in the blend, the earthiness was self evident. I love French wine styles for what they are, and this one markedly delivered the terroir of what I would expect from a French wine. Great style and exuberance. Little did I know that Peter also has a love of French wines. As I’m writing reviews, I go back and forth with the company’s Website and feel upon this:

FROM HIS WEBSITE: Like in the south of France, the Mathis isn’t pure Grenache; Petite Sirah, Carignane and Alicante Bouschet are part of the field blend, and contribute structural, spice and fruit components. The actual blend varies from year to year, the Grenache typically making up about 85% – check out the tech sheet for exact vintage composition.

Let’s go to Southern French-styled wines, with the Mathis Grenache wines. The photo following is a black truffle dish, a spot of lemon, with a garlic, butter sauce, served on a baguette. Served with a rose of this style… most appropriate.

[PHOTO: Jo Diaz ~ All rights reserved]

Rose? Easy, I’m in. Refreshing as a white, with a bit more complexity… A nice segue, before hitting the Reds full force. There were two vintages. The difference between the two were within a minuscule that I realized their most important factor… consistency. Just as in Provence, the Southern region of France’s most famous for its rosés, this wine is of that Provençal style. Aromas of strawberries and lemon with the 2020, and a bit more intense with the 2019… oh, those drippingly delicious white peaches. Animated wines, both. Very clean finishes. Delightful and so food friendly…

The Passion of Mathis ~ Grenache

NOTES FROM uber tasting – My first impression of UBER ~ Burgundy’s earthiness got into heart and soul, and explained it all to my palate’s memories of France. Amazing how we can connect aromas and flavors to places we’ve been and things we’ve seen/experienced. It never fails to ignite something within that one never wants to forget. Mr. Mathis, you’ve achieved your life’s goal with Grenache. Thanks for letting me enjoy them.

From Peter Mathis’ Website about Grenache.

“Like no other grape, Grenache is a heady, frolicking mix of fruit and spice.  It’s not a wine that causes one’s brow to furrow contemplatively; it’s all about laughter and the celebration of life, of eating and drinking lustily. Don’t think, just drink – that’s the ticket!”

 

So here are with both red wine samples:

  • Sonoma Valley Grenache 2017, Mathis Vineyard – field blend ($32.00) 
  • Sonoma Valley Überblend 2017, Mathis Vineyard – Petite Sirah dominant red blend ($35.00)

[PHOTO: Jo Diaz ~ All rights reserved. Another truffle dish, presented at Chez Bruno; Lorgues, France.] ~ It was an all truffle, prix-fixe dinner I’m remembering. These wines deserve something very special to go with them, to delight your palate, too. I can’t help but upload this black truffle memory, with a heartier wine like Grenache. The Grenache I had was perfectly paired with this tasty, combination-seamless dish. Perhaps you’ll also go for it!

The Grenache is a part of Peter Mathis’ field blend… how old-school clever.

Field Blend: I found the finest clones available (super small berries with great color and a more tannic spine than the typical Grenache found in the U.S) that had just been imported to the country.  Rather than follow a recipe from 6000 miles away, I chose what I thought would make the best blenders based on my direct experience in California, adding Petite Sirah, Carignane and Alicante Bouschet in a field blend to add complexity and a spice factor.

I fell in love with Peter Mathis’ UBER blend. A very appropriate name… Someone recently asked, “What does uber really mean?” I said, “something that is immense, the most of, just the biggest.” It was a perfect night to ask, as we sipped away on its deliciousness. And I wrote down:

Heart and Soul… Wine is the Heart and music is the Soul…

Music is the universal language placed inside the soul… So, yin yang

Loved these wines.

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Cabernet Sauvignon,Chile,South America,Sustainability,Wine,Wine Ed,Wine Education,Wine-Blog

Chilean Wine Lineup ~ Vina Concha t Toro

[PHOTO: Jo Diaz, all rights reserved]

This is the sixth wine, and last in this series about Sustainable Chilean Wines, but definitely not the least. In fact, this one is the most recognizable to me…

  1. Intro – Chilean Wines that Collectively Underline Chile’s Historic Commitments.
  2. Chilean Wine Lineup ~ Viña Maquis Gran Reserva
  3. Chilean Wine Lineup ~ Viña Koyle Family Vineyards
  4. Chilean Wine Lineup ~ Viña Tarapacá
  5. Chilean Wine Lineup ~ Viñedos Emiliana Coyam
  6. Chilean Wine Lineup ~ Viu Manent
  7. Chilean Wine Lineup ~ Viña Concha y Toto

The sixth wine in a series of Chilean Sustainable Wines… Concha y Toro. I have a lot of history of enjoying this wine. My first sample came in 2013. Over the years, this wine has remained extremely consistent with deliciousness and quality. Each new vintage I continue to treasure.

My greatest joy came in Puerto Rico, when I was looking for wine in the neighborhood grocery store. In a sea of Spanish wine imports, there it was… recognizable and a comfort wine. Nothing was going to be hit or miss for me on the Isla de Encanta. I suppose I missed having other delicious Spanish wine treasures, but I didn’t care. I was on vacation, and I just wanted to sip, savor, and enjoy the surf.

When I have of bottle of wine from this Chilean producer, I’m sure of its quality and affordability. As my favorite wine shop owner used to say, it’s a lot of quality for the price.

 

Sustainability Efforts ~ Wines of Chile

Sustainable 365

The Wines of Chile Sustainable 365 program brought delectable samples to my door, from South America. The beginning of their terroir defined… From the Vinos de Chile Website:

“The Sustainability Code of the Chilean Winemaking Industry is a voluntary standard that guides winemaking companies in the challenge to work sustainably based on requirements in three complementary areas: vineyard, winery-bottling plant, and the social sector.

“It is an initiative that is open to all Chilean vineyards, regardless of whether they are a member or not of Wines of Chile or the R+D Consortium, and the aim is to position Chilean wine rather than individual companies. It has successfully been consolidated as a relevant initiative for the Chilean wine sector, and it has begun to form part of the image of Chilean wine.”

 

[PHOTO: Purchased: all rights reserved.

Colchagua Valley Snapshots

FROM: VINOS de CHILE

Located in the southern half of the Rapel Valley, the Colchagua Valley has evolved over the last twenty years from being a calm stretch of farmland to becoming one of the largest and most active wine-producing regions in the country. The relatively low altitude of the coastal hills allows the Pacific breeze to mingle with the Andean winds, which cools the valley and prolongs the maturation period of the region. This is advantageous for the preservation of acidity in the grapes, and helps to generate red wines with excellent coloring, great freshness, and very good keeping qualities. The large majority of wine produced here is red, with a particular propensity for the production of Carménère, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. Although, the newer plantations close to the coast have also proven to be a region with great potential for cool-climate white wines

[PHOTO: Jo Diaz: all rights reserved]

Concha y Toro Gran Reserva Series

From their text to me:

Concha y Toro Gran Reserva Serie Ribeiras Cabernet Sauvignon, 2019 / SRP $17

In 2021, powerhouse Concha y Toro received B Corporation Certification, which recognizes companies around the world that meet the highest standards of environmental management, governance and social performance. The Serie Ribeiras line of wines are single vineyard wines offered at super competitive prices. Fruit for this wine comes from the Palo Santo Vineyard, D.O. Marchigüe, Colchagua Valley, on the banks of the Tinguiririca River. The unctuous wine, aged in French oak and foudres, is 94.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, with Syrah and Carmenere rounding out the blend.

Sustainability Pillar: B Corporation-certified with metrics including: 100% drip irrigation, 97% of waste reused/ recycled, 24% reduction of waste over 2018, 83% of energy comes from renewable sources.

Carbon Footprint has also been a focus for Concha y Toro, who have been working with international scientific organizations, to develop a detailed roadmap, which identifies costs and pegs them to reduction levels and targets. This methodology has been shared with Wines of Chile and in June 2021 several companies will sign a document in to commit to specific reductions – a first in the wine world.

 

[PHOTO purchased: all rights reserved]

 Concha y Toro Gran Reserva Serie Ribeiras

Cabernet Sauvignon

Concha y Toro is in more than 140 countries. Imagine… The world loves their wines’ consistent great flavors and affordability. Honestly, if you love Cabernet, I don’t know what’s not to love! But, as I always like to remind… this is my palate. You’ll just have to try for yourself.

When I swirled, sniffed, and then tasted this sample, a familiar note of cocoa and a hint of tobacco returned, like an old friend visiting for another fun-filled adventure. With the Concha y Toro Gran Reserva Serie Ribeiras Cabernet Sauvignon, its classic Cab’s bold flavors were followed by the blackberries and singular focus of their wine.

I’m taking this one all the way back to Chile, for what dish to enjoy with it. This is traditional Chilean Cazuela de Vacuno or Cazuela de Carne; a beef soup with potato, corn, pumpkin, carrot, bell pepper, onion and rice, cut parsley, and bread slices on the side.

 

[PHOTO purchased: all rights reserved]

About Concha y Toro ~ From Their Website

Concha y Toro’s history begins in 1883 with our founder’s -Melchor Concha y Toro- dream to create the best wines. A tradition persevered over time, inspiring us to work with passion and excellence in our brands.

Concha y Toro is today the most admired wine brand in the world. Our wines deliver rewarding and unique experiences to our consumers around the world. We are present in over 130 countries.

Our brands -such as Casillero del Diablo, Marques de Casa Concha, and Don Melchor- have conquered their outstanding quality and maintain an undisputed leadership position in the competitive world of wine.

This is part of our history.

1883 – Concha y Toro’s beginning

Melchor Concha y Toro -a prominent Chilean lawyer, politician, and businessman- decides to bet on Pirque’s winemaking potential. To do so, he brings in French vines from the Bordeaux region; he invests in winemaking machinery and builds a subway vault to store his wines. From this visionary gesture, Concha y Toro was born.

1993 – From Chile to the world

Wine production is becoming more and more relevant, as well as the acquisition of new land. The transition from a family business to a corporation makes Viña Concha y Toro an influential player in the emerging national market. Our first export was to Holland in 1933.

1996 – A Wine Legend is born

Legend has it that the best wines were kept in a locked cellar because they frequently went missing. It was then that Melchor Concha y Toro spread the rumor that the Devil himself lived in his cellar… The word spread, and in a short, fear took hold of everyone. Today, the legend is still alive. Casillero del Diablo is the second most influential wine brand worldwide and first in Latin America.

1976 – Marques de Casa Concha

Melchor Concha y Toro was the seventh Marquis of Casa Concha. In honor of this noble title, which dates back to 1718, Marques de Casa Concha was launched, its first wine being a Cabernet Sauvignon – 1972 vintage – from the renowned Puente Alto vineyard.

Their story continues in their timeline, and I recommend if you are researching, visit this page for further details on their Website.

Welcome, especially if you’re also learning about Chilean wines. This story is part of a series, composed from the following:

  • Research on other sites and wine books
  • My own 29 years of being in the wine business
    • 57 units in a wine-sales and marketing degree program
    • Traveling to international wine regions
  • Vina Concho y Toro’s Website

And lastly, this YouTube video gives us a great overview. I hope you have enjoyed this series of learning with me.

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Biodynamic,Chile,Colchagua Valley,Malbec,Mediterrean Climate,Organic,Sustainability,Wine,Wines of Chile

Chilean Wine Lineup ~ Viu Manent

[PHOTO: Jo Diaz, all rights reserved]

The fifth in a series about Sustainable Chilean Wines…

  1. Intro – Chilean Wines that Collectively Underline Chile’s Historic Commitments.
  2. Chilean Wine Lineup ~ Viña Maquis Gran Reserva
  3. Chilean Wine Lineup ~ Viña Koyle Family Vineyards
  4. Chilean Wine Lineup ~ Viña Tarapacá
  5. Viñedos Emiliana Coyam
  6. Now – Viu Manent

 

Sustainability Efforts ~ Wines of Chile

Sustainable 365

The Wines of Chile Sustainable 365 program brought delectable samples to my door, from South America. The beginning of their terroir defined…

“Credit for Chile’s elevated sense of agricultural ‘health-consciousness’ can largely be attributed to one man: Claude Gay. In 1830, this French-born botanist, after carrying out some of the first investigations into Chilean flora, fauna, geology and geography, advocated in favor of creating a government agency to improve agriculture and protect the country from the perils of imported plant diseases. The government obliged and by 1850, records confirmed checks made on upward of 40,000 vines and 70+ varieties of Vitis vinifera. If you have ever traveled to Chile, it won’t have escaped you that its airports are far more vigilant about inspecting for fruit, veggie and animal products, with long lines of weary travelers waiting to pay fines of close to $200 for that undeclared packet of trail mix. Blame Claude Gay!

 

[PHOTO: Purchased: all rights reserved.

Colchagua Valley Snapshots

FROM: Wine-Searcher

Colchagua is a little cooler than its northerly cousin Maipo, but still maintains a consistently Mediterranean climate. As with most areas of Chile, the Pacific Ocean offers a natural cooling influence – a saving grace at a latitude of 34°S, which is closer to the Equator than any European vineyard. The degree of cooling provided by the ocean varies from east to west in the Colchagua Valley, demonstrated by the distribution of red and white grape varieties. As a general rule, white-wine varieties benefit from cooler climates, while the reds prefer drier, warmer conditions. The dominance of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Malbec and Merlot plantings in the warmer east is mirrored by that of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc in the ocean-cooled west.

FROM: Winebow

Colchagua is a large and varied wine region located in the southern portion of Chile’s broader Central Valley. It spans almost the entire width of the country, but most of its vineyards are found in warmer pockets nestled against the foothills of the Cordillera and near the interior Tinguiririca River…It is a fascinating region, and one that produces great wines at phenomenal value.

FROM: Meiningers ~ Wine Business International

While the international trade defines Colchagua as the source of Chile’s most classic wines, local producers prefer to talk about its diversity. The Colchagua Valley, with the second-largest vineyard surface in the country, is where some of the wine industry’s best-known figures are based, but is also home to small and diverse producers that are beginning to be recognised in their own right.

[PHOTO: Jo Diaz: all rights reserved]

Viu Manent

From their text to me:

Viu Mament Secreto de Viu Manent Malbec, 2019 / SRP $15

Family-owned since 1935, Colchagua Valley-based Viu Manent is one of the most respected wineries in Chile. The family have fun with the line of “Secreto” wines – a stated grape variety leavened with a “secret blend” (15%) of other grapes. The Malbec grapes come from vines that are around 19 years old. Fresh and fruity, the final blend offers a refined mix of red berries and violets on the palate.

Sustainability Pillar: Installation of four solar plants that generate 460 kilowatts at peak, implementation of a biodiversity protection program as Central Chile is home to more than 50% of the various species of floral and vertebrates in the country, and recycling (such as using old barrels in promotions or by local artists).

ADD PHOTO HERE WINE

[PHOTO purchased: all rights reserved]

Viu Manent Secreto de Viu Manent

From their text to me:

Viu Manent Secreto Malbec, 2019 ~ de Viu Manent / SRP $15

Family-owned since 1935, Colchagua Valley-based Viu Manent is one of the most respected wineries in Chile. The family has fun with the line of “Secreto” wines – a stated grape variety leavened with a secret blend of other grapes, by 15 percent. The Malbec grapes come from vines that are about 19 years old. Fresh and fruity, the final blend offers a refined mix of red berries and violets on the palate.

Sustainability Pillar: Installation of four solar plants that generate 460 kilowatts at peak, implementation of a biodiversity protection program as Central Chile is home to more than 50% of the various species of floral and vertebrates in the country, and recycling (such as using old barrels in promotions or by local artists).

[PHOTO purchased: all rights reserved]

Secreto de Viu Manent Malbec, 2019 / SRP $15

The Secreto de Viu Manent Malbec is 85 percent Malbec, with another 15 percent of other grapes – the blend of which is their closely guarded secreto…

I tasted this wine second in the series, because I’m very familiar with Argentina’s Malbec, so I wanted to see how they would compare, and could wait any longer to find out.

Now I’m going to tell you my own little “secreto.” I have what is called a “super palate.” This is not a blessing. In many regards it’s a curse. I have more taste buds than the average person. So, when I taste, there’s always a first flavor dominating. Then I go through more sipping and picking up more. This is why I do NOT open every single bottle as it arrives. To do so and then taste each one, one after the other, means that before long my palate would be on overload-tired; and, who on God’s green earth wants to have so much wine left over that it has to be dumped out? (Especially when you’re paying for and also have a “sustainable” headset.) It happens in wineries, but it doesn’t happen in my house. One wine bottle at a time allows for me to dig deeper on so many levels. This one lasted a few days, and this is what allows me to continue enjoying and judging its ability to hold. This wine was a super holder, hardly breaking down from day-to-day, and yet the tannins were soft. (The secreto is in the blend, I’m betting.) It had the staying power anyone would want, especially anyone who knows that tomorrow is another day, and another taste is waiting!)

I found this wine to be very sophisticated and very smooth.  It was a bit smoky and rich, with a wonderful finish. It just felt ready to enjoy right now with its full-bodied flavors of ripe plums and black cherries. I could see lamb with this one, for those who love lamb. I’ve tasted lamb many times. While it wasn’t a favorite for me, I understand its robust flavors that are mostly pastoral… since most lamb is free ranging its days in meadows and on hillsides, versus other more manufactured options for meat.

[PHOTO purchased: all rights reserved]

 

About Viu Manent ~ From Their Website

Viu Manent is a Chilean winery owned by the Viu family. It was founded in 1935 when the Catalonian immigrant Miguel Viu-García and his two sons Agustín and Miguel Viu-Manent founded Bodegas Viu in Santiago de Chile. They bottled and sold wine on the local market under the “Vinos Viu” brand. Viu Manent is a Chilean winery that belongs to the Viu family since 1935. The winery, in the hands of the third generation since 2000 and led by Jose Miguel Viu, continues down the same long road, guided by the union that comes when blood ties are joined with a passion for wine.

What exactly is one’s own? … “That which identifies us and by which we can recognize ourselves.”

We love our property, our family and our traditions. We love our work, which we see as the motor that can propel us toward fulfilling our dreams. We believe in transcendence, in putting our heart into things and that the only way to do something is to do it to the best of our abilities.

We have a strong bond with wine; we love its living essence and its sensitivity. We believe that Chile is a privileged territory for the production of wines and that Colchagua is a magical valley where the soil, climate and grapes seem to be blessed.

We believe in attention to detail and in respecting the environment.
We believe that history and tradition provide us with knowledge and experience, while innovation and modernity help us to advance toward our goal.

We believe in teamwork and in the talented, professional and committed people who work with us.
We are committed to transmitting this philosophy into our daily mission…

Which is:

To produce outstanding wines that are consistent in quality. Our hallmark lies in our attention to detail and the special concern for quality that both the family and our highly committed and professional team give to the wines of Viu Manent.

Through experience and innovative spirit, our team is able to achieve the ultimate expression of both Colchagua and Chile in outstanding quality wines with a style of their own, which are able to satisfy the most demanding pallets of consumers around the world, thus contributing to the prestige of Chilean wine.

[PHOTO: Website of Viu Manent, all rights reserved.]

Welcome, especially if you’re also learning about Chilean wines. This story is part of a series, composed from the following:

  • Research on other sites and wine books
  • My own 29 years of being in the wine business
    • 57 units in a wine-sales and marketing degree program
    • Traveling to international wine regions
  • Viu Manent’s Website

Finally, this YouTube video is a great resource.

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Biodynaic,Chile,Colchagua Valley,Organic,Sustainability,Wine

Chilean Wine Lineup ~ Viñedos Emiliana Coyam

[PHOTO: Jo Diaz, all rights reserved]

  1. Intro – Chilean Wines that Collectively Underline Chile’s Historic Commitments.
  2. Chilean Wine Lineup ~ Viña Maquis Gran Reserva
  3. Chilean Wine Lineup ~ Viña Koyle Family Vineyards
  4. Chilean Wine Lineup ~ Viña Tarapacá
  5. Chilean Wine Lineup ~ Viñedos Emiliana Coyam

 

Sustainability Efforts ~ Wines of Chile

Sustainable 365

The Wines of Chile Sustainable 365 program brought delectable samples to my door, from South America. The beginning of their terroir defined…

“In the ten years since its inception, SCWI has been adopted by all the country’s leading wine producer sand accounts for 80 percent of Chile’s bottled wine exports. Wines from certified producers correspond to123,550 acres of vineyard –slightly more than the acreage under vine of Napa Valley, Sonoma and Mendocino Counties combined. The code starts in the vineyard and winery, and covers the ‘usual suspects,’ such as energy, water efficiency, construction, the protection of biodiversity corridors, integrated pest-and weed-control strategies, plant material, contamination prevention, and transport and storage among many others. From the outset, Chile’s wine sustainability code was designed with a holistic approach. Explains Managing Director Patricio Parra, of the R&D Consortium Viños de Chile: ‘We aim to manage the whole company, not just specific wines. Our continuous improvement system allows wineries to advance step-by-step, an inclusive approach designed for any size winery.’ The code doesn’t stop at the winery door: The surrounding community, even consumers, are all part of the code’s universe.”

 

[PHOTO purchased: all rights reserved]

 

Colchagua Alto Valley Snapshots

FROM: André Dominé’s book, simply called Wine.

“Further South, the Rapel Valley contains the two main sub-regions of the Cachapoal Valley and the Colchagua Valley, and  comprises some 48,430 acres (19,600 ha) of vineyards planted on mainly alluvial soils at between 1,970 and 3.280 feet (600 and 1000 m) above sea level… It is a predominantly red wine region… p. 849-51

FROM: Jim Gordon’s Opus Vino

“Though few recognize it as such, South America is the wine world’s most prolific (and, arguably, historic) producer outside of Europe…Chile may be slender in stature, but it is home to dizzying geographical diversity and an efficient, market-oriented work-force. It delivers some of the world’s best value everyday bottles as well as even more challenging, terroir-driven wines of depth and elegance.” p.148

 

[PHOTO: Jo Diaz: all rights reserved]

Viñedos Emiliana Coyam 

From their text to me:

A pioneer in Chile, Emiliana is one of the world’s largest producers of organic and biodynamic wines in the world. Coyam comes from a vineyard on granite-based soils in Colchagua’s coastal mountain range. All the fruit is own-rooted and is a massal (field) selection of different varieties, except for the Syrah, which is a specific clone. Eight different varieties blend seamlessly to offer on the palate cherry and strawberry, Mediterranean herbs, black pepper, and vanilla. Drink now or age up to 10 years.

Sustainability Pillar: Installation and support for organic gardens in local schools in 50% of the communications Emiliana operates in (goal: 100%). Also has 91 organic vegetable gardens for is employees, with many participating in collective growing to provide healthy food for their families.

[PHOTO purchased: all rights reserved]

Viñedos Emiliana Coyam Wine

The Viñedos Emiliana Coyam is a red wine blend from Viñedos Emiliana Coyam, Chile 2018. Valley de Colchagua.

Blend:

  • 42% Syrah
  • 39% Carmenere
  • 6% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 5% Garnacha
  • 3% Malbec
  • 3% Carignan
  • 1% Tempranillo
  • 1% Mourvèdre

The wine is rich and very dense, in a spectacular blend. The tannins are still very young, and this bottle will hold (in great storage) for at least 30 years. Flavors from the Syrah and pepper are evident in its subtle earthiness, yet the cherries and berries dominate in the other 58 percent of its flavors. To have a unique blending style, like this one IMHO, which creates some really exciting flavors, is a delicious joy found primarily on my (perhaps your) palate preferences.

It appears that these Colchagua Valley wineries follow the sciences along with their hearts, in creating these wines. Their blendings are marketing genius, because it leaves consumers lusting after their blended wine flavors, without having to pick from a sea of the same variety from the same region… like a Cab from Napa, for instance. While they’re truly delicious and most desired in the US, their subtle similarities are better defined by those trained in Master Somm classes, not the general public.

This is their own copy, because it couldn’t be more perfect:

“This emblematic wine faithfully represents Emiliana’s philosophy in which organic and biodynamic agriculture inspire our work and help us to attain the essence of our vineyards and the maximum expression of terroir.

“Coyam means oak forest to the Mapuches, the original inhabitants of central and southern Chile. And to honor the ancient oaks, we gave the name to this wine.”

What they’ve written is clear in the flavors of this wine. I tasted it, swirled, and thought – then blurted out, “This is r-e-a-l-l-y good!”

Another red blend, allowing for our imaginations to decide for ourselves the best way to enjoy the wines with food. I know many people who would love this with pork ribs in a sweet and sour, while having been raised humanely and sustainably… and I’m drooling, again.

[PHOTO purchased: all rights reserved]

About VIÑEDOS EMILIANA COYAM

A pioneer in Chile, Emiliana is one of the world’s largest producers of organic and biodynamic wines in the world. Coyam comes from a vineyard on granite-based soils in Colchaga’s coastal mountain range. All the fruit is own-rooted and is a massal (field) selection of different varieties, except for the Syrah, which is a specific clone. Eight different varieties blend seamlessly to offer on the palate cherry and strawberry, Mediterranean herbs, black pepper, and vanilla. Drink now or age up to 10 years.

Sustainability Pillar: Installation and support for organic gardens in local schools in 50 percent of the communications Emiliana operates in (goal by 100 percent). It also has 91 organic vegetable gardens for is employees, with many participating in collective growing to provide healthy food for their families. This photo below is what really caught my attention when Vinedo Intreactivo reviewing their Website. It’s interactive, while you can view all of the following, by clicking on the white dots.”

  1. Biodynamic Calendar (upper fight)
  2. Native Forest (upper right)
  3. Wind Mill (Efficient Energy Use)
  4. Roof dot (Cellars)
  5. Beekeeping and Olive Trees left
  6. Animal area (Biodiversity of flora and fauna)
  7. Organic Garden
  8. Workers
  9. Vineyards
  10. Biodynamic Preparations (building on the upper right)
  11. Cover Crops 9Lower right vineyard

With each interaction, there is also a left-hand pup-up, taking it a step further, with text, explaining their philosophies. Native Forest, for instance… As we begin to lose them, we do reflect on how important they truly are: “Native Forest ~ The native flora is a fundamental principal within Emiliana’s philosophy. With our nurseries we look to enhance the development and cultivation of native plants, while preserving those that already exist.”

Welcome, especially if you’re also learning about Chilean wines. This story is composed from the following:

  • Research on other sites and wine books
  • My own 29 years of being in the wine business
    • 57 units in a wine-sales and marketing degree program
    • Traveling to international wine regions
  • Viñedos Emiliana Coyam’s Website

 

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Chile,Colchagua Valley,South America,Wine

Chilean Wine Lineup ~ Viña Tarapacá

[PHOTO: Jo Diaz]

The fourth in a series about Sustainable Chilean Wines…

  1. Intro – Chilean Wines that Collectively Underline Chile’s Historic Commitments.
  2. Chilean Wine Lineup ~ Viña Maquis Gran Reserva
  3. Chilean Wine Lineup ~ Viña Koyle Family Vineyards
  4. Now – Chilean Wine Lineup ~ Viña Tarapacá

I’m in a process of learning… So welcome, especially if you’re learning somethings, too, about Chile. This story is composed from the following:

  • Research on other sites
  • Viña’s Website
  • My own “Oh Wow” moments, from what I’ve already learned
  • And, you can add another element in the comments section, if you wish

Sustainability Efforts ~ Wines of Chile

Sustainable 365

The Wines of Chile Sustainable 365 program brought delectable samples to my door, from South America. The beginning of their terroir defined…

“A Climate Defined by Superlatives and Strong Currents” The world’s narrowest country (averaging 110 miles wide), and also its longest, north to south (2,653miles), Chile is wedged between the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Andes mountains to the east, with a long strip of coastal mountains parallel to the Andes adding to the mix. So, not only do most viticultural areas enjoy a “two-fer” of maritime and alpine influences, but those influences are extra-strength. This is a country of extraordinary climatic diversity: dry desert in the far north, cool-wet in the far south, and varying degrees of Mediterranean climate between the two. It is sometimes useful to view Chile as a series of thin, parallel strips running north-south: the coast, the coastal alpine range, the Andes to the east, and the area between. “

 

[PHOTO credit: Copyright: alessandro0770 / 123RF Stock Photo]

Colchagua Alto Valley Snapshots

FROM: South America Wine Guide

“Chile has a denomination problem. Large swathes of vineyards are grouped under umbrella classifications and Colchagua is one of them. The valley spans 120km [74.56 miles], with vineyards stretching from the coast, through the coastal mountains, into the fertile valley floor and creeping into the Andean foothills. It covers diverse territories and makes diverse wines. In a bid to differentiate the regions of Colchagua, the valley is often split into Costa (the coastal wines), Entre Cordilleras (the valley floor) and Andes (the foothills). Colchagua Andes makes some of the most distinctive wines in the valley so I was keen to get to grips with what marks it as distinct.” Written by Amanda Barnes

FROM: VOGUE

“This Chilean Valley Is a Red Wine Paradise: If you prefer your wine inky, with bold berry and tobacco notes, then an exploration of Chile’s Colchagua Valley could very well be your dream trip. Known for exclusively producing full-bodied red wine varietals like the country’s famed carménère, this under-the-radar wine haven is emerging as a paradise for oenophiles everywhere.” — by Michaela Trimble 
Sandwiched between the Andes Mountains and the Coastal Mountain Range, the valley’s granitic and volcanic soils merge with an arid Mediterranean climate, causing grapes to ripen slower, often with little intervention.

 

[PHOTO: Jo Diaz]

Viña Tarapacá

Gran Reserva 2019

The Viña Tarapacá Gran Reserva 2019 is made with organically grown grapes. This is always a plus for me. It means that no unnecessary chemicals went into the production of this wine. The following are my thoughts on the Viña Tarapacá Gran Reserva. I also appreciate that this one is a blend of grapes found in the Colchagua Alta Valley… it’s like a cornucopia of flavors that we’d only find in a blend.

“Farmed since 1874 in Isla de Maipo, Chile’s traditional vinous heart, the estate is known for its diversity of soils that enable it to successfully grow an array of grapes. This five-grape variety wine has upfront notes of wild herbs, flowers, ripe black fruit, like sarsaparillas, along with subtle vegetal notes from the Cabernet Franc and lavender and violet notes from the Merlot.

“Sustainability Pillar: Planting more than 11,000 native trees and shrubs restore the natural environmental balance and reconnect the biological corridors between the Altos de Cantillana mountains and the River Maipo through the estate’s 5,000 acres of vineyards.”

BLEND:

  • 31 percent Cabernet Franc
  • 26 percent Syrah
  • 22 percent Carménère
  • 11 percent Merlot
  • 10 percent Cabernet Sauvignon…

…A whole lot of Bordeaux and a good amount of Syrah, the headliner, Rhône variety.

The flavors, represented in the Viña Tarapacá Gran Reserva 2019, are well blended in this melangish medley. It was soft, ripe, and rich with ruby fruit flavors, like juicy plums. I picked up blackberry on the nose, and then the ripe plum, with a touch of cigar and leather, on the palate. The finish lingered with a hint of butterscotch. This is a really delicious wine. By now I was very appreciative of Chile, for all that it offers in the way of wines being crafted south of the equator. This is a true value wine, just like the others that I’ve been enjoying. The BEST part? Truly, the sustainability efforts.

This red blend allows for our imaginations to decide for ourselves the best way to enjoy the wines with food. For me, it would be tapas.

 

History of Viña Tarapacá

[PHOTO of Viña Tarapacá Manor’s front door view, located in Isla de Maipo – a region of Santiago, Chile]

In my opinion, the of the most important things a winery can treasure is its history; so, when it has its own museum, it tells us about the integrity of the owners, who are sustaining what has come before their stewardship.

[PHOTO: Viña Tarapacá]

I get a sense from this house of everything Spanish flourishing… right down to grape growing to wine making, and then to tasting the wine. An undisclosed red blend allows for our imaginations to to decide for ourselves the best way to enjoy the wines with food. For me, it would be tapas.

INSIDE: The main hall is rich with continuing Spanish influences, with a wrought iron staircase and balcony safety guards, to a hand-forged crystal chandelier. The floor is in the famous checkerboard flooring. From the Bath Outlet about checkerboard flooring: (History of the Checkerboard…Design Element)

“Checkerboard floors were present in 15th century European paintings and the design can be found in ancient artifacts, including Iranian ceramic vessels. Bronze Age pottery displayed the staggered square design in pieces from as early as 1500 BC. The design can even be found in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. Once stone and tile began being used to make floors, the ancient Romans began incorporating the design into their buildings. During the Renaissance, the pattern become popular with artists and designers. Again, the checkerboard was used in many paintings but not just fictional. Paintings of real life events, like royal weddings, often showed checkerboard floors in ballrooms and other large living spaces. In the late 1680s, a black and white checkerboard pattern was used on the ground floor landing of the Queen’s Staircase at Versailles.”

The following video, with Sebastian Ruiz, is produced in that old fashioned, travel type videos. It has its charm, because we’re talking about the impassioned, Spanish personality. So far, every Spanish event I’ve attended (said she – Jo Diaz), has filled with alegría de la vida.This  one is also on the romantic side,  filled with details.

Join Sebastian Ruiz, Winemaker at Tarapacá Vineyard, and live an experience that transports you to Rosario Estate at the heart of Maipo Valley, the place where Gran Reserva Tarapacá, The Gran Reserva of Chile is made. Tarapacá Vineyard is a Chilean Winery with over 140 years of winemaking experience. The multi-awarded wine, Gran Reserva Tarapacá, is stored in a unique an iconic bottle, its label features the emblematic house of Tarapacá.

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Biodynamic,Carménère,Chile,Colchagua Valley,Sustainablility,Wine,Wines of Chile

Chilean Wine Lineup ~ Viña Koyle Family Vineyards

[PHOTO: Jo Diaz]

As mentioned in my first story in this series, Chilean Wines that Collectively Underline Chile’s Historic Commitments, I’ve entered into a process of learning right now… So welcome, especially if you’re learning some things, too, about Chile. This story is composed from the following: 

  • Research on other sites
  • Viña’s Website
  • My own “Oh Wow” moments, from what I’ve already learned
  • And, you can add another element in the comments section, if you wish

 

 

This story is about Viña Koyle, a second, in a series of six samples sent to me, about sustainable wineries in Chile; so, we can become more familiar. Viña Koyle is also Biodynamic, for those keeping score. There is a big difference, with this level of certification. They are this dedicated to purity for Mother Nature’s sake. From Wine Folly:

What Does Biodynamic Mean?

The concept behind biodynamics is that everything in the universe is interconnected and gives off a resonance or ‘vibe.’ The interconnectivity of everything even includes celestial bodies like the moon, planets and stars. Biodynamic viticulture is the practice of balancing this resonance between vine, man, earth and stars. Essentially, biodynamics is a holistic view of agriculture.

Wines of Chile Sustainable 365

The Wines of Chile Sustainable 365 program brought delectable samples to my door, from South America. From their Website:

“Chile! Where sustainability is part of our country’s DNA! Our land is rich in geographic extremes and climatic diversity, but when it comes to sustainability, Chilean winegrowers are one. United in our commitment to protecting the environment and preserving Chile’s precious natural resources. Drink Sustainable. Drink Chile.”

 

[PHOTO credit: Viña Koyle, Colchagua Valley, Chile]

Alta Colchagua: Biology Meets Agronomy Head On

From Wine Lover’s Guide to Alto Colchagua: “While Colchagua is one of Chile’s most prominent wine valleys, Alto Colchagua is still somewhat off the radar. The highest altitude vineyards in Colchagua start from the higher estates of Los Lingues at altitudes of over 300 metres [984.25 feet] and run up to over 1000 metres [3280.84 feet] above sea level in the mountain vineyards. The combination of altitude and mountains makes for great wines and also makes this a great wine region to visit.”

And, from Uncorked ~ The Wine Blog: “With this in mind, Chile is well-endowed for wine, since it has one of the world’s longest coastlines. Areas like Maipo Valley, Valle de Casablanca, San Antonio Valley, Valle de Limari, and Valle de Colchagua enjoy coastal influence and more. The western orientation of many valleys allows the free flow of coastal air into them. In addition, the icy Humboldt current ensures that air is reliably chilly. It’s an unusual geographical boon for wine growing so close to the equator.”

A Viña Koyle Contribution

When I first visited Viña Koyle’s Website, I immediately fell in love seeing these sheep in the vineyard image that flashed by on their home page. These are my kind of people… Shepherds of the earth… people still connected to it and understanding how all of humanity works. Biology 101: Chemicals for soil enrichment come from Mother Nature’s nitrogenous waste, not from a box that smell like a mad scientist’s laboratory. Once I met a vineyard manager, who was touting the benefits of Round Up. He said, “It’s so safe I could drink it right now.” I said “do it.” He just chuckled, like it was some laughing matter. That told me all I needed to know about his thoughts, and ultimately his wine.

This image of sustainability is of the most natural kind. It wasn’t until my first trip into Europe, touring the Alentejo region of Portugal, that I first saw sheep just hanging out in a vineyard… munching on grass, while leaving a bit of animal nitrogen behind to enrich the soil. It was one of those “Well, yeah!” moments. The European and Chilean viticulturists are not as anxious as Americans have been to reach for chemical compounds, when nature has already delivered the goods in a conveniently homeopathic way. What a joy; the companionship pairing of vines and sheep. With Chile having European roots, it makes perfect sense that their own sensibilities are still connected to their DNA’s sensitivities. You can take the man out of Europe, but you can’t take Europe out of the man.

 

Chilean Wine Lineup ~ Second Wine Viña Koyle

The Viña Koyle was the second wine I taste, of those pictured above. It’s one of the signature, red wine grapes for Chile and I wanted to enjoy it. I’ve definitely had my share of Chilean wines, so it was going to be great to taste that part of Chile again. It did not disappoint. In fact, when my son-in-law tasted it, he asked if it go poolside, because that was where he was headed. Nodding “yes,” I just followed him to the pool, glasses in hand. I had already evaluated the Vina Koyle Carménère’s deliciously bold, wine flavors. If you’ve never enjoyed a Carmenere, it’s known for tasting like a tart raspberry sauce, having green peppery notes, and a delightful finish of minerality. The Viña Koyle is a classic example. This wine delivered all of that on a warm July, sunny day, in Sonoma County California. (The “wine life” continues to amaze me, so so many years later. And it’s delivered the world in each bottle of geography. That’s what wine does.)

So, Carménère, it’s one of the red, Bordeaux wine grape varieties; it can be said that these varieties, now located in Chile, were originally imported to their new, suitable climate. The vineyards in Chile were originally from the vineyards of Bordeaux; yet, they’re very much at home in Chile. It’s also a late ripening grape, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc, and Petite Sirah. The terroir is just ideal.

  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Merlot
  • Malbec
  • Carmenere
  • Petit Verdot

Viña Koyle Gran Reserva Carmenere 2019 / SRP $17

  • Viña Koyle’s (KOO-lay) biodynamic vineyards are planted on the rocky slopes of Los Lingues in Alto Colchagua and currently tended by the sixth generation of a family that has been making wine since 1885. Thanks to the deep roots of the vines, this Carmenere-based wine has hallmark mineral notes, along with the roundness of the Tempranillo and the lightly floral aromas of the Petit Verdot.
  • Sustainability Pillar: Demeter-certified, biodynamic producer Koyle also has installed solar panels which harvest 40% of the energy used.

 

[PHOTO CREDIT – Steve Allenuk: Random shot of vineyards producing Chilean wine in Colchagua elevations]

History of Viña Koyle ~ Briefly, from their Website

From their Website: Viña Koyle was born from a tradition that runs in our blood: we are a family dedicated to wine for more than six generations, since Don Francisco Undurraga Vicuña began, in 1885. We are dedicated to making wines with identity, from vineyards planted on the rocky slopes of Los Lingues, in Alto Colchagua, at the foot of the Andes mountain range.

Our philosophy is based on respecting origin, and we are guided by biodynamic practices. In our winery we make wines that emphasise the excellence of our terroir, using our family’s experience and innovative winemaking techniques as tools to help us.

Going into Hacienda Los Lingues® is like going back in time. It is not only a typical house of the Chilean countryside, but a living testimony of what was the time of the Colony. Everything remains as it was: the buildings are made of mud and straw; the walls are painted in colonial red and each remodeling is done by historians to preserve the original architecture.

The origins of the Hacienda date back to the end of the 16th century. At that time, he settled in the Valley of Santiago, Don Melchor Jufré del Águila, Hidalgo Extremadura, son of a knight of the Military Order of Santiago, who served as Mayor of the capital in 1599. As a writer and successful chronicler, It gained prestige in the Santiago society and was graced by the King of Spain with the Estancia de la Angostura, located in the Central Valley.

The employer’s houses occupy an area of ​​more than five thousand square meters. Many of its jewels are still preserved: ornaments, fine silverware, glassware, game tables, lamps. Each object has its history: some belonged to illustrious figures of Chilean life such as Mateo de Toro and Zambrano, Conde de la Conquista, who presided over the First Government Junta; there are memories of Gaspar Marín; José Gregorio Argomedo; Ramón Freire and José Victorino Lastarria, among others. It highlights a Florentine Christ of the seventeenth century, made in ivory with 72 cm. high, which belonged to Pope Pius IX, who today is in the Chapel of the Treasury.

Los Lingues Estate

No words necessary in this YouTube video… Once watched, you’ll feel like you were just there. The best way to write a winery’s story is to be there. The second best is to watch a video… But, we can change that into our first, if we watch with a bottle of their wine… You’ll taste the difference between the two experiences. I came away from the video still wanting to be that vaquera of my childhood! Dream it, become it. I can hardly wait! I think it’s time to buy that cowgirl hat that Santa never delivered. Maybe I’ve now been good enough.

 

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Chile,Wine,Wine Ed,Winemaking,Winery,Wines,Wines opf Chile

Chilean Wine Lineup ~ Viña Maquis Gran Reserva

[PHOTO: Jo Diaz]

As mentioned in my first story in this series, Chilean Wines that Collectively Underline Chile’s Historic Commitments, I’ve entered into a process of learning… so welcome, if you’re learning, too.  This story is composed from the following:

  • Research on other sites
  • Viña Maquis Website
  • My own “Oh Wow” moments, from what I’ve already learned
  • And, you can add another element in the comments section, if you wish

 

Wines of Chile Sustainable 365

The Wines of Chile Sustainable 365 program brought delectable samples to my door, from South America. From their Website:

“Chile is, and always has been, an international leader in the field of sustainable winegrowing. This year, Wines of Chile has launched the first ever Sustainability 365 campaign highlighting the commitment of local wineries in all areas of sustainability – Viticulture, Vinification and Bottling, Social and Wine Tourism – each and every day of the year. Celebrations for Sustainability 365 will take the form of many different activities including virtual tastings, influencer programs, Instagram Lives, social media and retail promotions.”

 

[PHOTO credit: tifonimages ~ Panoramic view of a vineyard at Colchagua Valley, Chile]

Colchagua Valley, Chile Snapshots

From Chile Travel: “One of the country’s most famous valleys, the Colchagua Valley, set at the heart of the central valley, is the icon of wine production in Chile.”

And, from Wine-Searcher: “The Colchagua Valley boasts a textbook wine-growing climate: warm, but cooled by ocean breezes and dry, but refreshed by rivers and occasional rainfall. The region’s desirable terroir, combined with persistent, focused marketing has made this one of Chile’s most important wine regions, along with Maipo Valley in the north. Several of Chile’s most prestigious wines come from the Colchagua Valley…The official Colchagua Valley viticultural area stretches south-east to north-west for 70 miles at its widest point. Its western boundary is formed by the coastal hills which seem to run the entire length of Chile’s vast Pacific coastline. In the east, the vineyards are naturally limited by the foothills of the Andes, into which they creep further and further each year.”

 

Chilean Wine Lineup ~ My First Wine

Cabernet Franc is one of my favorite wine grapes. Many people don’t realize it was Cabernet Franc that was crossed with Sauvignon Blanc, creating Cabernet Sauvignon. I just love it when someone mentions, for instance, that Petite Sirah is not a true wine grape variety – because of its crossing. The supposition is that having been crossed makes the resulting wine less credible than other parent grapes varieties… So, I just explain the example of the crossing between Cab Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. There is really no better example for comprehension. We’re each a crossing of our own two biological parents, and yet we’re an entirely new identity. For me, Cabernet Franc contributed the full-bodied richness and tannins – besides the obvious red color – in Cabernet Sauvignon.

[PHOTO PURCHASED: iStock]

Viña Maquis Gran Reserva

The Viña Maquis Gran Reserva was the first wine I wanted to taste, of those pictured above. The Cabernet Franc 2018 was a welcomed “Wow!” It’s ripe and rich with pluminess on the front end. With lots of finesse on the back end, I got a slight flavor a chalky mint lingering, with a hint of savory bell pepper.  (Remember, each of us has his or her own palate, so this is just what I got.) Truly a delightful bottle of wine. It’s a bargain for all of its elegance. Cabernet Franc thrives in a bit of a cooler climate, so being planted in the Maquis’ terroir is a perfect wine to be growing at this Chilean winery’s unique viticultural area.

Viña Maquis Gran Reserva Cabernet Franc 2018 has a suggested retail price is $24.

  • Owned by the Hurtado family for four generations, the winery sits between two rivers in the Colchagua Valley. The two waterways not only moderate temperatures and protect the vineyards from spring frosts, but also provide the 6.5-foot layer of concentrated clay set over gravel. These well-drained soils enable grapes to lose their green characteristics early in the season. The long cool 2018 growing season yielded a wine that is vibrantly fresh, featuring a basket of red and black fruit flavors in the mouth, along with floral touches and a dark tobacco background.
  • Sustainability Pillar: Electrical consumption has been reduced by 30 percent, and liquefied gas requirements by 90 percent, thanks to an energy recovery system using geothermal, heat pump technology, and was awarded the 2013 British Chilean Chamber of Commerce Innovation Prize.

History of the Maquis Family

The Maquis Family is one of the oldest wineries in the Colchagua Valley, by the way, and has been owned by the Hurtado family for four generations. The following is on their website about the family. It’s so insightful about the dedication and caring for quality from this family, it’s a great read. I’m giving credit to them for allowing the use:

Viña Maquis has been associated with the production of noble wine grapes since the XVIII century, when it belonged to the Jesuit priests.

During the XIX century, Maquis was owned by two Chilean presidents who felt proud of their property, organized some cabinet meetings in Colchagua, and built brick bridges for their ministers to come. Remains of these old bridges are still present on the Maquis Estate.

In 1916, Maquis was bought by the Hurtado family who wished to develop a fine wine business.

The building was one of the first to be made of concrete in Chile. It was built in 1927 by the then-owner and engineer Ignacio Hurtado when he was 23 years old, right after leaving engineering school.

In 2002, after several years of refining the management of the vineyards, the Hurtado family built a new winery designed both to facilitate wine production and to enable the expression of the characteristics and personality of the grapes in the clearest way possible.

Much of the work is done using artisanal methods because for many stages of the winemaking process, even today, no machinery can provide the degree of quality and care achieved by a passionate and professional team.

Ricardo Rivadeneira Hurtado

Family member Ricardo Hurtado is both the executive director and winemaker at Viña Marquis. His professional training was in both London and Santiago de Chile. In South America is where he studied Engineering in Agronomy; and, later, Ricardo studied Enology.

After completing his studies, he worked in winemaking at the Charles Krug Winery in the Napa Valley, and at Chateau Branaire-Ducru in France. Later, he returned to Chile and served as head of the development department, for one of the largest suppliers to the wine industry in the country. In 2000, he assumed the General Management of Viña Maquis; and, from 2005, of Viñedos Calcu. His participation has been vital in the elaboration of a portfolio of high quality Chilean wines from the Colchagua Valley. Since 2019, Ricardo has served as executive director of Viña Maquis and Viñedos Calcu.

It’s interesting to note a background that is so accomplished.

On this YouTube video, Ricardo Rivadeneira Hurtado shares the winery’s youth generation, experiences, and his passion for quality in all aspects of the winery, which includes the development of their unique wines that reflect the best of the terroir and its strains.

 

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Cabernet Franc,Cabernet Sauvignon,Carménère,Chile,Coyam,Wine

Chilean Wines that Collectively Underline Chile’s Historic Commitments

[PHOTO: Francisco Kemeny]

I’ve entered into a process of learning, so if you’re reading for educational purposes, welcome. If you have more to add, please just comment. Some of this will be part of my own “Oh Wow” moments; some of it will be part of what I’ve already learned, and you can add a third element in the comments section. The Chilean’s have been very generous over the years helping me to learn about their region. Not having visited, I’m limited, I know. Still I’ve had a wealth of information available to me. I’m dreaming of visiting one day. We shall see.

What I’ll be researching and focusing on primarily comes from some samples that have been provided, for tasting Chile and then sharing my thoughts. I’ve only been very satisfied with their Chilean wine results so far. The Sponsorship for the educational opportunity was provided by Wines of Chile USA Launches Sustainability 365 Campaign Builds on Strong 2020 Performance.

From their press release: “To build on momentum, Wines of Chile USA is now poised to activate Sustainability 365, a trade- and consumer-facing campaign developed in tandem with Colangelo & Partners, and planned around the theme: “Drink Sustainable. Drink Chile.” Eighty percent of Chilean wine exports are certified sustainable, representing one of the most regionally diverse and eco-friendly wine selections on the planet. Chile’s wide-ranging wine sustainability code has long served as an inspiration for numerous other countries and wine regions.”

So, all of our ducks are in a row, let’s go!

So Delicious Chilean Wines

[PHOTO: Karol Kozlowski photo of the Concha y Toto vineyard]

In Pirque, the Santiago Metropolitan Region of Chile, is Concha y Toro’s vineyard. It’s a rural landscape, with green vineyards and several wineries in the Pirque y Toro region. This is a landscape of Pirque de Laconcha’s metropolitan district with the Concha y Toro Vineyard, Chile.

Environmental, Social, and Economic Sustainable Wine Growing

I’ve not been to South America’s Chile, but Chile samples have come to me for years through wine samples. I can only imagine, through the aid of available images, what it’s like to be there in this South American wine region. Each winery below will have images to shared, so we can all arm-chair this one.

From the project, a bit of commitment:

It starts with Chile’s isolated location, hemmed in by the Pacific to the west, the Andes to the east, the world’s driest desert in the north, and Patagonia in the far south, presenting wine growers with a host of natural advantages. Chile famously remains one of the few places on the planet where phylloxera has yet to make serious inroads, and Vitis vinifera vines continue to thrive on their own un-grafted rootstock.

RESEARCH from the project:

Credit for Chile’s elevated sense of agricultural “health-consciousness” can largely be attributed to one man: Claude Gay. In 1830, this French-born botanist, after carrying out some of the first investigations into Chilean flora, fauna, geology, and geography, advocated in favor of creating a government agency to improve agriculture and protect the country from the perils of imported plant diseases. The government obliged and by 1850, records confirmed checks made on upward of 40,000 vines and 70-plus varieties of Vitis vinifera. If you have ever traveled to Chile, it won’t have escaped you that its airports are far more vigilant about inspecting for fruit, veggie, and animal products, with long lines of weary travelers waiting to pay fines of close to $200 for that undeclared packet of trail mix. Blame Claude Gay!

[PHOTO: Jo Diaz]

Chilean Wine Lineup

The Teasers

  • Viña Marquis Gran Reserva Cabernet Franc 2018/SRP $24
    • Owned by the Hurtado family for four generations, the winery sits between two rivers in the Colchagua Valley. The two waterways not only moderate temperatures and protect the vineyards from spring frosts, but also provide the 6.5-foot layer of concentrated clay set over gravel. These well-drained soils enable grapes to lose their green characteristics early in the season. The long cool 2018 growing season yielded a wine that is vibrantly fresh, featuring a basket of red and black fruit flavors in the mouth, along with floral touches and a dark tobacco background.
    • Sustainability Pillar: Electrical consumption has been reduced by 30% and liquefied gas requirements by 90% thanks to an energy recovery system using geothermal heat pump technology that was awarded the 2013 British Chilean Chamber of Commerce Innovation Prize.
  • Viñedos Emiliana Coyam 2018/ $35
    • A pioneer in Chile, Emiliana is one of the world’s largest producers of organic and biodynamic wines in the world. Coyam comes from a vineyard on granite-based soils in Colchaga’s coastal mountain range. All the fruit is own-rooted and is a massal (field) selection of different varieties, except for the Syrah, which is a specific clone. Eight different varieties blend seamlessly to offer on the palate cherry and strawberry, Mediterranean herbs, black pepper, and vanilla. Drink now or age up to 10 years.
    • Sustainability Pillar: Installation and support for organic gardens in local schools in 50% of the communications Emiliana operates in (goal: 100%). Also has 91 organic vegetable gardens for is employees, with many participating in collective growing to provide healthy food for their families.
  • Viña Koyle Gran Reserva Carmenere 2019 / SRP $17
    • Viña Koyle’s (KOO-lay) biodynamic vineyards are planted on the rocky slopes of Los Lingues in Alto Colchagua and currently tended by the sixth generation of a family that has been making wine since 1885. Thanks to the deep roots of the vines, this Carmenere-based wine has hallmark mineral notes, along with the roundness of the Tempranillo and the lightly floral aromas of the Petit Verdot.
    • Sustainability Pillar: Demeter-certified, biodynamic producer Koyle also has installed solar panels which harvest 40% of the energy used.
  • Viña Tarapacá Gran Reserva Made with Organic Grapes 2019 / SRP $20
    • Farmed since 1874 in Isla de Maipo, Chile’s traditional vinous heart, the estate is known for its diversity of soils that enable it to successfully grow an array of grapes. This five-grape variety wine has upfront notes of wild herbs, flowers, ripe black fruit, like sarsaparillas, along with subtle vegetal notes from the Cabernet Franc and lavender and violet notes from the Merlot.
    • Sustainability Pillar: Planting more than 11,000 native trees and shrubs restore the natural environmental balance and reconnect the biological corridors between the Altos de Cantillana mountains and the River Maipo through the estate’s 5,000 acres of vineyards.
  • Concha y Toro Gran Reserva Serie Ribeiras Cabernet Sauvignon, 2019 / SRP $17
    • In 2021, powerhouse Concha y Toro received B Corporation Certification, which recognizes companies around the world that meet the highest standards of environmental management, governance and social performance. The Serie Ribeiras line of wines are single vineyard wines offered at super competitive prices. Fruit for this wine comes from the Palo Santo Vineyard, D.O. Marchigüe, Colchagua Valley, on the banks of the Tinguiririca River. The unctuous wine, aged in French oak and foudres, is 94.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, with Syrah and Carmenere rounding out the blend.
    • Sustainability Pillar: B Corporation-certified with metrics including: 100% drip irrigation, 97% of waste reused/ recycled, 24% reduction of waste over 2018, 83% of energy comes from renewable sources.
    • Carbon Footprint has also been a focus for Concha y Toro, who have been working with international scientific organizations, to develop a detailed roadmap, which identifies costs and pegs them to reduction levels and targets. This methodology has been shared with Wines of Chile and in June 2021 several companies will sign a document in to commit to specific reductions – a first in the wine world.
  • Viu Mament Secreto de Viu Manent Malbec, 2019 / SRP $15
    • Family-owned since 1935, Colchagua Valley-based Viu Manent is one of the most respected wineries in Chile. The family have fun with the line of “Secreto” wines – a stated grape variety leavened with a “secret blend” (15%) of other grapes. The Malbec grapes come from vines that are around 19 years old. Fresh and fruity, the final blend offers a refined mix of red berries and violets on the palate.
    • Sustainability Pillar: Installation of four solar plants that generate 460 kilowatts at peak, implementation of a biodiversity protection program as Central Chile is home to more than 50% of the various species of floral and vertebrates in the country, and recycling (such as using old barrels in promotions or by local artists).

This is the overall picture. I’m going to feature each wine individually, because each is special and I want to discover. How about you?

More to follow.

 

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Argentina,Art in Wine,Organic,Pinot Noir,Rosé,Wine

Gaia, the Primordial Earth or Mother Goddess, You Can Drink on Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day: My mother has been gone for a long time now. I remember the day well. I had gone back to Maine, making that really difficult decision: Do I see her once more in life, or do I see her after she’s gone? It was really that fragile. When I arrived, her exit party was waiting for her on the ceiling. My family knew about it when she asked them, “Who are all of those people on the ceiling?”

We all knew about cousin Paul. During his transition he asked, who are all of those people on the top of that building, pointing. His wife saw no-one. He was being pushed in his wheelchair, out for a bit of fresh air. This was just before he departed.  So, this wasn’t new for us…

Mom was in hospice and I headed to her room. When I showed up I said, “Hi, Mum!” Surprised, she said, “Well, you never know who you’re going to meet.” I was honored to be considered one of her angels, and smiled brightly. Maybe I was one of earthly angels… probably was. I stayed for as long as I could in Maine, and then had to returned to California. A couple of days later, she was gone. That day I thought to myself, “there’s only one day in our lives when our mothers pass, and this is it.” I took a deep sigh.

My heart was aching and I went outside to get some flowers to soothe my crumpled soul. I couldn’t see or call her anymore. One the edge of our property at the time, we had some gladiolas. One beautiful one was on the neighbor’s border. Who knows who could claim it, but I felt entitled that day until my neighbor came out, as I was picking it. When I told him why, he just bowed his head. I’m teary just writing this. She was a good mom and has been gone since June 2005, so I’m better able to handle it.

Today, it’s now my children who honor me.

And, this year I’ve ALSO been honored by the Bousquet family

The lovely Bousquet family hails from the city of Carcassonne, in the South of France. They have four generations of history in the winemaking tradition. Their passion is to produce wines of superior quality. And, this is what lead them to Argentina, to begin their new chapter.

I met Anne Bousquet (CEO and Co-founder/Partner of Domaine Bousquet) a few years ago. She shared her story with me.

Prior to joining Domaine Jean Bousquet in 2008, she worked as an economist. She began by performing forecast analysis, for the European paper packaging industry. As she tells it, she then “joined the [family] company to assist in financial planning, day-to-day operations management, and business development.” She’s a brilliant young woman who has her Master’s Degree in Applied Economics, from Saint Cloud State University, in Minnesota; and, earned her Bachelor Degree in Economics, from the University of Toulouse, France.

Anne’s extremely well rounded, and has the great ability to manage her family’s company. Many successful companies I’ve worked with have this important component. Art and science are fabulous in winemaking, but then knowing how to manage the farm-stand locks in the longevity success. It isn’t in every generation of winemaking that a family has this kind of insight. European influences seem to really lock into this one, due to their extensive generations of being into winemaking and knowing how it successfully works.

A #Sample bottle of their newly released 2020 Gaia Pinot Noir Rosé was sent to me, for my review. Already familiar with their Gaia Wines, I was very excited to see where this one sits in their portfolio, on their delicioso scale, and it’s right at the top. They just make fabulous wines and it’s such a treat to taste, evaluate, and then enjoy until the last drop in the bottle has gone into my glass.

My notes:

The debut-vintage of Gaia Rose 2020, New from Domaine Bousquet. This one is made from 100 percent organically grown, Pinot Noir grapes. Since Rosé wines have become super popular, any mom – including me – will love this wine. I’m talking Mother’s Day people.

It’s like bringing flowers to Mom, and she might even share it with you! Then, you can both smell it’s delicious bouquet!
It has a beautiful peach/rosé color. The aromatics are also of a peach/rosé. But… WOW, flavors of strawberry compote. I felt it would have residual sugar at first on my palate, but I was so wrong. It’s pleasantly quite dry, which will let me enjoy it with foods that have a bit of sweetness, for a total taste explosion.
The vineyards for this wine are grown in a high altitude of the Uco Valley region, of Mendoza Argentina.

You’ve got time to find it for this Sunday. It’s one of the most beautiful bottles out there. Should be easy to find. Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers! I’m toasting to my dearly departed! Cheers!

And, my #mothersday weekend has officially begun.

If you’re looking for something for mom, the artwork has mom right on the label!

FROM: Gaia – Greek Mythology

In Greek mythology, Gaea (or Gaia), the primordial earth or mother goddess was one of the deities who governed the universe before the Titans existed. In the creation myth, Chaos came before everything else. He was made of Void, Mass and Darkness in confusion; and then earth in the form of Gaea came into existence. From “Mother Earth” sprang the starry heavens, in the shape of the sky God Uranus, and from Gaea also came the mountains, plains, seas and rivers that make up the Earth we know today.

Gaea first appears as a character of divine being in the Homeric poems, in the Illiad, black sheep were sacrificed to her, and people were declaring oaths to invoke her.

Drink up, buttercup… It’s Mother’s Day weekend.