On Saturday, September 29th, Viña Errazuriz's longstanding quest to establish the coastal section of the Valle de Aconcagua as a new viticultural zone in Chile became a reality. The Ministry of Agriculture officially approved the incorporation of the commune of Quillota into the national viticultural map, legally creating this new Denomination of Origin (DO), or appellation.
This is the result of a venture that began nine and a half years ago, when preliminary research on the area's climate and soils prompted the Errazuriz team to launch an innovative project in Aconcagua Costa, just 12 km (7.5 miles) from the cool Pacific Ocean. Two years later, in 2005, the plantings began, establishing them as some of the first vineyards in this new winegrowing area.
Over the years, this area proved to be an excellent cool-climate zone that is particularly suited to white varieties and Pinot Noir. This is due to the vineyard's proximity to the sea and the influence of the cool breezes, the low average temperature (14 °C / 57 °F) and annual precipitation (350mm / 13.8inches). Also, the area has moderately fertile and predominately schist soils in metamorphic decomposition derived from the Coastal Mountain Range. All of these factors combine to offer consumers extraordinary aromatic intensity, tremendous freshness, and crisp acidity through very elegant wines.
Today, 232 hectares are planted to Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Syrah. These are all on hillsides with varying slopes and solar orientations, so that a single grape variety produces fruit with different features, thereby contributing greater complexity to the final blend, and giving birth to some great Viña Errazuriz Specialties.
This new DO complements the long-existing "Aconcagua" origin, where the Errazuriz red wines are produced, allowing them to embrace a greater diversity and range within this valley.