Last two vintages ‘most challenging in modern history of Chile’

12th September, 2017 by Lucy Shaw

The 2016 and 2017 vintages have been “the most challenging by far” in the modern history of Chilean wine according to Max Weinlaub of Viña Maipo.

Speaking to the drinks business during a recent trip to Chile, Weinlaub said: “The last two vintages in Chile have been the most challenging by far in the modern history of Chilean wine.

“We got off to a normal start in 2016 but we knew El Niño would hit and that the rains would be heavy.

“We picked our Sauvignon early and our Merlot and Pinot were off the vines but our Cabernet and Carmenère were still on the vines when the heavy rains hit, one after the other, so it was a race against botrytis.

“The quality of the grapes wasn’t great after the second rains – Carmenère was the biggest casualty – we were down by 60%. We still made the wine but selection was strict. It’s a sad situation but there’s nothing we can do about it.”

Heat was the problem with this year’s harvest, which was troubled by wildfires.

“It was very warm this year and the grapes started gaining sugar very quickly. We picked a month earlier than usual and it was one of our earliest harvests on record – we’d finished by 21 April,” Wienlaub told db.

“Some areas were affected by the smoke from the wildfires that swept through the country. We isolated the vines that were affected by the fires and made wine from them using gentle vinification – so far we haven’t detected any smoke taint in them.

“The two harvests have been very costly to producers and have affected grape prices,” he added.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

ViVAS Wine - Category Development Manager

ViVAS
Harlow and Stowmarket or Salisbury, UK

Fine Wine Logistics Coordinator

IG Wines
London, GB

Brand Ambassador East Coast USA - Ableforth’s

Maverick Drinks
New York - field-based, USA

Brand Ambassador West Coast USA - Ableforth’s

Maverick Drinks
San Francisco / Los Angeles - field-based, USA

Global Travel Retail Manager

Maverick Drinks
London, UK

Portfolio Ambassador - Europe

Maverick Drinks
North West Europe - field-based, UK

Senior Partner Manager - Grocery

Maverick Drinks
London/Field Based, UK

Sales Executive

Woolf Sung Ltd
London

Trade Marketing Manager - Maverick Drinks

Maverick Drinks
London / Kent

Business Development Executive Central London

William Grant & Sons UK
London

Almaviva 2015 Vintage and Vertical Tasting

London,United Kingdom
28th Sep 2017

TFWA World Exhibition & Conference

Cannes,France
1st Oct 2017

Franciacorta London Festival

London,United Kingdom
2nd Oct 2017
Click to view more

Global Chardonnay Masters 2017

Deadline : 29th September 2017

The Global Riesling Masters 2017

Deadline : 29th September 2017

Click to view more

Champagne Masters 2017

The only Champagne blind tasting in the UK, the competition will reward the best wines in the following categories:

The Global Rosé Masters 2017

With wines from the palest of pink to almost ruby red, bone dry to almost cloyingly sweet, reductively handled to barrel-aged, as well as gently spritzy to fully sparkling.

Click to view more