Viña Ventisquero: wines from Chile’s best wine regions

Published 28 February 2017   

Following an invitation from Viña Ventisquero to visit the most important wine regions in their country, myself (in representation of Dimatique wine importer and distributor) and a small group of our best customers in Bali travelled to Chile in February.

Text: Herman Von Bernardi

Our host and guests from Bali enjoying a taste of Ventisquero’s wines.

We headed off for a week of discovering and enjoying beautiful vineyards, amazing people and of course, great wines.

The winery is led by a young, creative team of people who are producing high quality wines. Their winery is built in the Coastal Maipo valley where we had the opportunity to learn directly from their team members how passionate they are and understand more about their philosophy of making good wines while protecting the environment.

Independent auditors have granted Vina Ventisquero “Certified Sustainable Wine of Chile” status, Chile’s first ever certification exclusively for the wine industry. Ventisquero began making wine in 2000 from their estate-owned vineyards in Chile’s major wine producing areas such as Coastal Maipo, Casablanca, Leyda and Colchagua (where the prestigious Apalta Valley is located, the source for Viña Ventisquero’s premium wines).

We also had the opportunity to taste wines from their vineyards located in the Atacama Desert in the north of the country, in an area with no previous record of wine making but already showing great potential.  With their Atacama vineyards Viña Ventisquero’s winemakers ventured to expand the frontiers of Chile’s wine map to create wines with unique characteristics, especially for people who are looking for distinctive, true oenological experiences. And as we could taste in their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir there will be great things to come from this land and their totally natural approach of winemaking.

Our journey began with a long flight from Bali to Santiago de Chile via Sydney, and after more than a day of travelling I finally made it to the capital of the country where we were welcomed by Francisco Ruidiaz, global sales director of Vina Ventisquero and our host during our visit. It was a pleasure to meet him, we had a great time and also we had the chance to learn from him the plans of the winery to expand here in Indonesia.

After a night in Santiago our first stop was at Leyda Valley and their Las Terrazas vineyards; this 97 hectare property is located 115 km from Santiago and its proximity to the sea means that it has a significant maritime influence which keeps temperatures cool all year. In winter, the average minimum temperature is 8°C and the maximum is 14°C and in summer the temperatures range between 12°C and 25°C.

There are different terraces of alluvial origin with granitic soils in the highest part of the vineyard, the middle terrace has soils of marine origin with different levels of clay mixed with gravel and the lower part of the vineyard has soils of alluvial origin. Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the main grapes grown here but also there are small quantities of Riesling, Pinot Gris, Syrah and Gewurztraminer being grown. We ended the visit with a casual tasting under the trees enjoying the cool breezes from the near ocean and enjoying a few glasses of the wines grown in the area.

Our second stop was at their vineyards located in the Casablanca Valley around 80 km west of the capital Santiago and around 30 km from the coast which also provides the area with a maritime influence. Here mainly Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc grapes are grown. This is probably the most famous area in the country for the production of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir but lately Sauvignon Blanc and other grapes have been grown with good results as well. Since we had already tasted the wines from this area in our previous stop we only visited the vineyards tasted some grapes and headed for the night to Valparaiso, one of Chile’s coolest coastal cities.

For our next visit we travelled to the Maipo region where we visited their Trinidad vineyard and also the home for their winery, where all grapes from their vineyards around the country are made into wines. This is the heart of Viña Ventisquero’s winemaking process.

This 377 hectare property is located in Coastal Maipo, 140 kms south west of Santiago and 50 km from the Pacific Ocean, which also brings a maritime influence to the area but less than compared with Leyda and Casablanca. This vineyard focusses on red wines such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Carmenere and a little bit of Petit Verdot. White wines are not produced in this vineyard. Here we tasted their complete line of Reserva wines, which are probably their most popular wines here in Indonesia and a few other premium wines and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with their Tara Chardonnay from their Atacama Desert vineyards where they produce small quantities of 100% natural wines.

View of La Robleria vineyard in the Apalta valley, home to Ventisquero’s premium wines.

Our last visit was to La Robleria vineyard, located in the Apalta Valley in the heart of the Colchagua region around 160 km south west of the capital Santiago. There are 66 hectares of vines dedicated to the production of Premium red wines. Apart from the great wines we had the chance to taste we really enjoyed the views and the tranquillity of the beautiful vineyards and surroundings. What an amazing location for wine tasting and end our visits to the winery’s vineyards. Overall it was an amazing experience and we were happy we had the opportunity to be invited and to learn more about Viña Ventisquero’s wines.

To go deeper into our Chilean wine adventure we also visited several wine shops, wine bars and restaurants with a focus on wines where we had the opportunity to taste more of the wines being produced in the country. We certainly were not disappointed with the excellent wines we had the opportunity to taste during our trip.

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