Leyda winemakers create cool climate associationBy Lucy Shaw
Eight Chilean wineries in Leyda have joined forces to create the Viñas del Valle de San Antonio association with the aim of collectively promoting their cool climate coastal wines.
As reported by Chilean newspaper El Mercurio, the San Antonio Valley association was formerly established last week and will become an official part of the government-funded Wines of Chile.
The eight member wineries are: Viña Ventisquero, Casa Marín, Matetic, Viña Leyda, Chocalán, Hacienda San Juan, Casas de Bucalemu and Garcés Silva.
With a total of around 500 hectares in San Antonio between them, the majority of the wineries in the association are family owned and are open to the idea of expanding the group to collectively promote the premium wines produced there.
The main objective of the group is to highlight the unique cool climate terroir of Leyda and the influence of the nearby Pacific Ocean and the Humboldt Current on the wines, which imbues them with a saline, mineral character.
Given the region’s cooler temperatures, the eight certified organic member producers predominantly focus on Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay and Riesling.
The association is also keen to shine a light on San Antonio’s potential for food and wine tourism. The San Antonio Valley lies west of Santiago and south of Casablanca.
Alejandro Galaz, senior winemaker at one of the member wineries – Viña Ventisquero – was in London this week to promote the estate’s new range of cool climate wines.
Kalled Kalfu, which means ‘blue’ in Mapuche, the three tier range is formed of the entry-level Molu brand from Casablanca, the mid-tier Kuda brand from Leyda, and the premium Sumpai label from the Atacama Desert.
The Molu and Kuda ranges both include a Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, while the Sumpai brand features a cool climate Syrah from Leyda, a Pinot from Leyda and a Sauvignon Blanc from the Huasco Valley.