Sauvignon Blanc from Curico Valley
Home to Bordeaux varietals since the mid-1800′s, when missionaries carried vines to the region, Curicó Valley now supports over 30 different varietals. As Chile’s largest producing zone of Sauvignon Blanc, Curicó currently has 3775ha of Sauvignon Blanc under vine. Here, the zone’s geographical isolation, with the Andes to the east and the Coastal Range to the west, has protected the vines of Curicó (and of Chile in general) from the louse phylloxera, which means that all plantings stem from original rootstock.
With warm summer days and cool summer nights, and an extreme variation in temperatures between the two, Curicó provides a shorter growing season for Sauvignon Blanc, which yields fresh wines with balanced abv’s. With more rainfall than other regions that are located further north, Curicó also has access to melted-snow water that comes down from the Andes.
Here, you’ll find two of our producers of Sauvignon Blanc: Echeverria Family Wines and Haché from Casa Julia, whose holdings in Curicó provide the fruit for their Sauvignon Blanc wines.
Located in the town of Molina in Curicó Valley, Echeverria has 80ha under vine, including the fruit that yields their Sauvignon Blanc and Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc wines. Sustainably farmed and hand picked, the fruit for their classic Sauvignon Blanc is fermented in stainless steel for 25 days. With notes of green herbs and citrus fruits of grapefruit and lime, this is a super fresh wine that’s available at a great price point, and perfect as a daily summer/spring wine.
Hand picked in June, the fruit for the Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc is harvested in three different stages, to optimize its ripeness and “noble botrytis”. Fermented in stainless steel for 45 days, the wine is then transferred to French oak barrels for “moderate aging”. Chief winemaker, Roberto Echeverria describes the wine as with a “Complex nose with clear overtones of mature peaches, apricots and honey with a delicate background of botrytis. Marked notes of quince jam,” he adds, “and creamy honeyed flavors are enlivened by a good level of acidity.”
For the 2011 vintage, Casa Julia, who produces Haché Sauvignon Blanc, sourced fruit from a single source vineyard in Curicó Valley, as opposed to using fruit from a variety of sources in Central Valley, as they’d done for the previous vintage.
Crafted by Pablo Morandé, one of the most influential winemakers in Chile who was the chief oenologist at Concha y Toro for 20 years–in the 1980′s and 90′s–Haché is made from sustainably farmed fruit. In the early 1980′s, Pablo traveled to Sonoma, and noted its similarities to Casablanca Valley. The fog, the extreme swing in day to night temps, the terrain and the rolling hills, all of these factors inspired Pablo to purchase land in Casablanca, where the grounds were then used solely for cattle. Three years after he and his brother had purchased and planted their plots in 1982, Pablo started showing the fruit around and its quality blew everyone away.
“Back then,” says Jorge Perez, our South American Portfolio Director, “everyone planted everything in their backyard. Pablo’s understanding of which varietal to plant in each appellation was ahead of its time.” In fact, it was Pablo’s bold move that helped establish Casablanca as one of Chile’s top wine producing appellations.
Planted on calcaerous clay and sand with alluvial deposits, the vines that produce Haché are protected by the Coastal mountain range. Here, the climate here is not maritime but continental. Highly aromatic with fresh acidity and zest, this wine is another TEW selection to compliment your warm day and night festivities.