Inspired By The Colours Of Nature
· 27 April 2021
Harnessing a unique microclimate to produce exemplary wines.
In a valley in central Chile, the Pacific and the Andes come together to create a unique microclimate conducive to producing wines of great elegance and precision. This is where the Los Vascos winery makes the Cromas Gran Reserva, one of the most precious wines originating from the Colchagua Valley.
The wines at Los Vascos are true to their Chilean heart, born amid the wild nature of the valley. The vineyard is 40 kilometres from the coast and 150 metres above sea level, resulting in hot, dry days and the crisp, cold nights. The temperature difference can reach up to 30°C in a day—making the valley particularly favourable to the slow maturation of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Still, the Los Vascos wines are elaborated in a truly French spirit, inspired by Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite), who bought the winery in 1988. Today, the estate is known for combining ancestral winemaking know-how and Bordeaux tradition with advanced techniques. The Los Vascos winemakers aim to achieve the perfect balance between this solid local identity and what the DBR Lafite team has learned about finesse and precision.
INSPIRED BY THE COLOURS OF NATURE
It took the DBR Lafite team years of diligent work to select the bestsuited terroirs to produce wines that could synthesize the unique spirit and complexity of Los Vascos.
“Ten years ago, the Los Vascos teams found and planted new terroirs on the slopes of the estate. It opened a universe of microclimates with different exposures, soil types with its own colours and textures,” says Philippe Rolet, Technical Director of Vina Los Vascos.
“That is what inspired us to create the CROMAS wines.”
In fact, the name “Cromas” is derived from the Greek word for colour. Maximiliano Correa, a winemaker at Los Vascos, proposed the name because the observation of nature—including changes in soil colour—is critical in the art of vine growing and winemaking. For years, the team has been refining its techniques as it grew grapes on the coloured slopes of granitic soils of Los Vascos.
“Every tone, every shade, every nuance is a message from nature. As cultivators, years of caring observation have taught us to read the powerful signs nature sends us, to guide our actions and our daily choices,” explains Philippe Rolet.
Barrel-aged for 12 months, the wines reflect the Chilean terroirs’ specificities and the team’s excellence at DBR Lafite.
IDEAL CONDITIONS FOR AN EXQUISITE CABERNET SAUVIGNON
The Cabernet Sauvignon that Los Vascos uses for its Cromas Gran Reserva embodies the wild, local spirit and the ancestral wisdom of the winery. It is grown in plots at the foothills of Santa Lucia, where the grapes benefit from optimal climate exposure and light intensity. The extreme contrast between daytime and nighttime temperatures in these vineyards are especially favourable to the emblematic varietal’s slow maturation.
In Santa Lucia, it takes Cabernet Sauvignon up to 75 days to progress through veraison and maturation stages. The grapes are harvested late in the season when the leaves have changed colour and the estate is dressed in vibrant autumn shades. This scenery is reflected in the shade of red that is painted on the Cromas Gran Reserva bottle labels.
CREATING A UNIQUE ECOSYSTEM
Respect for the local natural environment is a core value at Los Vascos. As such, the vineyard also houses a nursery where vine plants and rare species of native trees coexist. It has forests of eucalyptus, cork, oak and quillay.
The team also grows orchards and gardens that yield fresh produce, which are used for the meals that they cook for guests. Aside from that, sheep provide wool and meat, maintain the pastures, and produce the natural fertilizer for the vine. Horses are used for surveillance of the property.
These efforts help to promote biodiversity. At Los Vascos, it’s not only grape varieties that thrive—local flora and fauna help to form a unique ecosystem.
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