Introducing the Colchagua Valley
The Next Napa Valley?
The Colchagua Valley is a stretch of land well South of Santiago Chile. It is about 75 miles long by 22 miles wide. The Valley is beautiful, newly discovered and rapidly becoming a tourist destination for those with the "been there, done that" attitude towards Napa.
What makes this valley so special? Picture some of the cleanest air in the world – no smog, little to no pollution. Temperatures are moderated by the sea breezes off the Pacific Ocean and the clean inland winds from the snow capped Andes Mountains. The summers are dry with warm days and cool nights. Various microclimates and differing soil types allows for the cultivation of local grapes, especially Bordeaux varietals. Deep sedimentary soil contains a mixture of fine-textured loam clay and silt with volcanic soil from the foothills. Melting snow from peaks feeds the Tinguiririca River which brings fresh, pure water to the Valley. All of these features contribute to an ideal terroir and near perfect conditions for the vineyards.
Wine Enthusiast named the Colchagua Valley "2005 Wine Region of the Year." It stated, "the natural advantages of the Colchagua Valley are yielding some of the most compelling wines in the world." On a joint project between the owners and winemakers at Viu Manent, and Stephane Derenoncourt, the new line of private reserve wines were created. Casa Solente Cabernet, the first of these projects, was a joint effort to present to the wine world the epitome of what can be created from the Colchagua Valley. 2005 was without a doubt an excellent Cabernet year with intense concentration in the fruit. Yields were an astonishing 34% down from 2004 and 50% down on the 2003 vintage which, according to the vineyard manager, is no doubt directly attributable to the policy of zero irrigation in these old vineyards of 50 year old vines coupled with two years in a row of very low rainfall. The result? Small quantities of supple, concentrated grapes and wine that has our clients and wine brokers very excited!