New Chilean Wine Producers
Two's company, three is even better...introducing our new producers from Chile.
We are excited to introduce our new wines from across the ocean, produced in the land of Chile! We have three new fantastic producers; Maycas de Limari, Vina Estampa and VFC.
Chile produces some delicious wines ranging from cooler climate varieties such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to riper Mediterranean varieties. This is because the country itself is so long and offers a diverse range of sites and climates for grape growing, with viticulture ranging 30-38°S in latitude – that is 1,000km north to south! The country has the Atacama Desert in the north, and glaciers to the south; the Andes in the east and Pacific Ocean to the west, demonstrating the diverse climatic influences. A famous influence is the El Niño and La Niña effect, with the El Niño resulting in much wetter weather, and La Niña providing drier weather, occurring every 2-7 years, and so Chile experiences significant variation in their vintages which can be challenging for grape growers.
The history of winemaking in this region dates back before the 1500s as there is evidence of the European Vitis Vinifera vine species allowing production of their most dominant varieties Muscat and Pais. The country benefited from European migrants in the 20th Century as European vineyards were devastated by phylloxera, which to this day influences the varieties grown, which include: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Carmenere, Pais, Muscat of Alexandria, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Emiliana Organic Vineyards have a presence in Chile’s most prestigious wine valleys, from Limari to Bio Bio. Maycas del Limari has joined our Chilean portfolio as a boutique project focused on producing high-quality organic wines from the North of Chile in the Limari Valley This area is highly influenced by the Pacific Ocean and is an oasis in the hot semi-desert climate, with the road up to the Atacama Desert due north. There is rich local history with traces of the Inca Empire which is an important part of the heritage of the country and is an inspiration for the design of the bottle labels. This may well be a name you recognise, as it is a well-known brand which had been in the UK with other importers historically but will now be exclusive to Ellis Wines. All organic wines are grown in a way that preserves the natural balance of life and helps sustain the environment for the future. A key focus in their wine production is to use no chemicals, synthetic pesticides, fertilisers or additives to ensure better quality and sense of place.
Vina Estampa is another certified sustainable producer based in Colchagua that was formed in 2001 by Miguel Gonzalez Ortiz. Sustainability is at the heart of Estampa’s operations, adhering to Chile’s sustainability codes relating to vineyard management, process and production, plus community engagement. We now have the Ruta 90 wines (Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Carmenere and Cabernet Sauvignon), as well as Estampa’s Inspiracion range. This creative and innovative project combines their community of local artists - who produce beautiful paintings for their barrels and labels - with Head Winemaker, Johana Pereira’s ideas to experiment with Italian varieties. This is part of their more premium offering, as well as a premium Carmenere.
VFC are another certified sustainable organisation, and a collaboration between two families based in the Maule Valley, specifically within the sub-valley and town of San Javier. Part of this collaboration includes The Las Mercedes Project owned by the Bouchon family who originated in Bordeaux, and is now led by three fourth-generation siblings. They work with native varieties from old vines such as Pais as well as more typical, international varieties. We're now taking two ranges called Rustico, which are dry-farmed and organically-grown native varietals and Singular their estate range (which will be ordered in the New Year 2024).
By Molly Newport