Visit Two Vineyards in One Day
By Karen Ramírez |
Visit Viña Montes and Lapostolle, two vineyards that will let you discover the best of Chile’s sustainable winemaking tradition.
LAPOSTOLLE AND VIÑA MONTES
If you love wine tourism and you are in Chile, you can’t leave aside Lapostolle and Viña Montes, two vineyards that we invite you to visit if you want to delight your senses.
TWO VINEYARDS OF THE COLCHAGUA VALLEY
The Colchagua Valley, located two hours from Santiago de Chile, offers DINKtravelers two vineyards. The first one, Lapostolle, is a vineyard that was founded in 1994 by Alexandra Marnier-Lapostolle, a member of the prestigious French family that produces the renowned Grand Marnier liquor and who founded the French vineyard Chateux de Sancerre, in the Loire Valley. Alexandra Marnier-Lapostelle visited many places looking for the perfect terroir that would allow her to create world-class wines. Alexandra and Michel Rolland visited the Apalta region –meaning “poor land” in the local indigenous dialect– in the Colchagua Valley, and they fell in love with it. This is evident due to its granitic soils, slopes with North-South exposure, forests, meadows and by the horseshoe shape of mountain ranges of the Cordillera de la Costa that protects the vineyards from the afternoon sun and favors a slow and balanced maturity of the vine.
This vineyard sprouts in the middle of a forest on a slope of the Apalta hills. It stands out thanks to its wooden structure shaped as a bird’s nest, which makes you believe that you are in another world. Once you are there, descend 25 meters underground, down the spiral stairs that will take you to the wine cellar. This modern building was designed by the Chilean architect Roberto Benavente, and it’s the ideal architectural complement for the natural surrounding landscape.
There are six levels that make up this winery and this is what you will learn about the winemaking in each of them: In the first level the grape is received and destemming is carried out manually, turning this step into a craft work. Then, gravity does its thing and takes the fruit to the second level, where fermentation begins in wooden cubes. In levels three and four, the wine rests for almost two years in the almost 800 barrels of French oak, waiting for the final steps of assembly and bottling. As connoisseurs know, a bottle of wine contains an elixir of history.
The philosophy of Lapostolle is also added to this meticulous process of winemaking. The vineyard is strongly quality-oriented and it’s committed to working in harmony with the environment. Therefore, you will see that the vineyard follows a holistic method of agriculture promoted by the Austrian Rudolf Stein. Thus, the wines that you’ll buy as a souvenir after your visit will be ecological and, of course, high-quality.
TOUR AND WINE TASTING IN VIÑA MONTES
The second vineyard we invite you to visit, Viña Montes, was founded when Aurelio Montes visited for the first time, in 1972, the remote area of the Colchagua Valley, namely Apalta, in order to buy grapes for his employer. He was amazed by the dramatic beauty of the place and the quality of light that seemed to accumulate at the base of an eight-kilometer-wide hillside framed by the ascent of Pangalillo Hill.
In 1992, Aurelio Montes and his partners bought 500 hectares in Apalta for their vineyard, which they called Viña Montes. From the beginning, their philosophy has been to produce wines of the highest quality, always worrying about the environment, and developing a sustainable culture in all stages of the winemaking process. They are committed to conserving 445 hectares of Maulino Forest, having received, in 2011, the Certification of the National Code of Sustainability of the Industry and in 2013 they were again certified in the three areas of the code: vineyards, winery and social development. Thus, the vineyard is a sign that a single destination can bring together three great passions of DINKtravalers: wine, sustainability and travel.
OUR RECOMMENDATIONS FOR VISITING VIÑA MONTES:
- Visit the winery with its special Feng Shui design
- Have lunch at Mirador del Angel, which offers a panoramic view of the Apalta Valley
- Take a wine-tasting walk around the vineyard and observe different species of trees, shrubs and native plants
VIÑA MONTES AND LAPOSTOLLE A PLEASURE TO LIVE IN ONE DAY
Thanks to the proximity between these two places, it’s possible to visit both vineyards in a day. The route that we recommend is the following: departing from Santiago at 8:00 hrs, arrive at Viña Montes at 10:30 hrs, which is the opening hour, and take one of the exquisite lunches that are served there. Later, visit the facilities full of natural beauty while you taste the wines. One of our favorites is Purple Angel, because it has a sweet and mild taste. Contemplate the vineyards surrounded by mountains, and photograph the landscape crowned by a clear and blue sky.
Later, head to Lapostolle, located at a distance of 3 minutes by car or a 30-minute walk from Viña Montes. There, at dusk, they illuminate the architectural structure that accompanies the vineyards, so it’s advisable to arrive at 16:00 hrs to take the Laspostolle tour. During the tour you can visit the wineries and learn about their distribution, the vineyards and their delicious wines. You will enjoy a true gourmet adventure accompanied by a sommerlier who will guide you in your winetasting experience. Both Viña Montes and Lapostolle, ask visitors to make online reservations in advance, so don’t forget to do it!
SECRETS OF CHILEAN WINE
Discover the characteristics that make Chilean wine special and travel like an expert.
It’s important to know that Chile has diverse climates and soil types that help produce a wide variety of wines. Carménère is the most popular red wine in Chile, with its soft, aromatic and delicate taste.
Many vineyards seek the perfect flavor by varying the intensity of irrigation they use or by analyzing the effects of different storage methods. This is because the winemaking tradition in Chile dates back to the 16th century, when it became the largest wine producer of the New World. Nowadays Chile is the eighth largest wine producer in the world and the fourth largest exporter.