Speaking The Language Of Nature
· 27 April 2021
A family with a thirst for adventure and challenge has created a vineyard that produces remarkable wines within a unique ecosystem for sustainability. The possibilities are endless when you have access to one of the best-kept secrets in Chile.
Over 30 years ago, Domaines Barons de Rothschild Lafite fell in love with a vineyard nestled in the heart of Colchagua Valley and began writing the Los Vascos story. It’s a well-kept secret the locals have known for generations: the land of Los Vascos benefits from an ideal microclimate. The area takes advantage of plenty of sunlight, water, semi-arid soil, and no frost, all thanks to the high Andes mountains that act as a backdrop for the area. With cool nights refreshed by the ocean breeze, this location offers the perfect conditions to produce exceptional wines.
In the 18th century, the Basque family first planted grapevines in this lush part of Northern Chile. When Domaines Barons de Rothschild Lafite purchased Viña Los Vascos in 1988, they were amongst the first European families to acquire a vineyard in the region. They conducted extensive land surveys to identify the best terroirs, restructured the vineyards, and restored the bodega to meet the new quality winemaking and ageing requirements. Over the years, the people of Los Vascos have managed to tame the surrounding nature’s boundless forces to create a unique ecosystem where men and nature live together harmoniously. Amidst these more than 1000 hectares of wilderness, the new ecosystem was built, equipped with a new set of rules to cultivate independence. Los Vascos has a unique approach to winemaking, combining Chilean traditions with the DBR Lafite heritage and know-how. The team at Los Vascos does not seek to follow trends; they innovate new standards in the wine industry.
The objective at Los Vascos was never just to create a productive vineyard; it has always been to create a unique ecosystem that showcases what our local nature and biodiversity can achieve when given the right tools and the proper space to develop.
Circled by mountains, at the foot of Mount Cañeten, the Los Vascos estate covers 3,600 hectares, of which 700 are under vines, making it one of the largest wineries in the area. The vineyard, which is located a mere 40 km’s from the coast, benefits from the ocean breeze’s cooling influence. This particular location between two major climatic influences – the cooling Pacific Ocean to the west and the Andes mountains to the east – creates a microclimate with significant contrast between the hot, dry days and the crisp, cold nights. This dramatic temperature difference between day and night time can change by up to 30°C on the same day, which is particularly favourable for the slow maturation of our Cabernet Sauvignon.
The land of Los Vascos consists of a large diversity of soils. The heart of the estate, in the valley floor, consists of sand and clay alluviums left by the erosion of neighbouring granitic hills, as well as Tosca, a tough soil made from volcanic ashes that have been transported by rivers into the plains and compacted over time. Higher up on the surrounding foothills, you can find El Mirador and Santa Lucia’s terroirs, where the granites are particularly suitable for complex and long-lived wines. This location is where the vines destined to produce grapes for the Cromas Gran Reserva wines have been planted.
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