The Errazuriz Estate was founded in 1870 when Don Maximiano Errazuriz planted his first vineyards at Panquehue in the Aconcagua Valley - 100km North of the capital. Recognising that this valley, with its cool, rainy winters, hot, dry summers and moist Pacific Ocean breezes, was ideal for growing grapes, Don Maximiano sent for the finest clones from France and with tenacity and perseverance transformed this barren land into a world class vineyard.
Today, the tradition of quality lives on with Don Maximiano's descendant Eduardo Chadwick. Eduardo is the fifth generation of his family to be involved in the wine business. Eduardo has overseen the modernisation of the winemaking technology at this historic Estate whilst maintaining a distinct identity for its wines. Dedicated to producing estate grown wines of superior quality, Errazuriz has built a reputation as the "Premier Family Wine Estate of Chile".
Errazuriz's philosophy is best expressed by Don Maximiano who said, "From the best land, the best wine." Vina Errazuriz believe in the concept of 'terroir' and strive to produce the finest wines by controlling every stage of the winemaking process, from grape growing in the Aconcagua and Casablanca valleys, to winemaking with the most natural techniques. An emphasis is placed on the delicate handling of the wines, with the aim of producing wines with elegance and complexity.
Eduardo Chadwick - President:
Eduardo is Don Maximiano's descendent and the 6th generation of his family to be involved in winemaking. He explains, "Our challenge at Viña Errazuriz is to produce world class wines that capture the essence of the grapes and the spirit of the soil". He shares his ancestor's maxim: "From the best land, the best wine".
Francisco Baettig - Chief Winemaker:
Francisco Baettig studied as an Agronomist Engineer at the University of Chile and also obtained a Masters in Enology with honours from the Faculty of Oenology at the University of Bordeaux (Diplome d'Etudes Superieures Specialisees), through a scholarship awarded by the French government.
During his career he has been involved in vintages in the Languedoc-Roussillon as flying winemaker for Michel Laroche, Pomerol at Le Bon Pasteur, one of the renowned Michel Rolland's wineries; in Sancerre at Chateau de Sancerre reputed for its white wines and in the United States at Hallcrest Winery - one of the first organically certified wineries in California. He has also been on numerous technical visits to New Zealand, France and Italy. Before joining Errazuriz his time in Chile was spent at Casa Lapostolle where he worked for 4 years with Michel Rolland as assistant winemaker.
In 2003 Francisco Baettig became the head winemaker at Viña Errázuriz and took the role of Enology Manager 8 years later. Francisco belongs to a new generation of winemakers whose aim is to produce wines that best express the terroir of each vineyard. The winery has established Estates; Don Maximiano Estate, Manzanar Estate, La Escultura Estate and Viñedo Chadwick Estate (see vineyards section for more detail).
He has been in charge of producing the Errazuriz’s iconic wines such as Don Maximiano Founder’s Reserve, KAI, and La Cumbre, and his talent and work were rewarded as Don Maximiano has been the only Chilean contender ranked ‘Best in Show’ and ‘Best Super Premium Red’ two years in a row at the Annual Wines of Chile Awards (AWOCA).
In addition, Francisco was named ‘2011 Winemaker of the Year’ by the Círculo de Cronistas Gastronómicos y del Vino de Chile (Chilean Food and Wine Writer’s Guild).
Francisco speaks English and French and has a love of aeroplanes - in 1998 he acquired his pilots' license for single-engine planes.
Estate Series: Wines that express the characteristics of each varietal in its chosen geographical wine producing zone. The aim is to show maximum fruit, excellent balance and harmony between freshness and a certain degree of complexity.
Specialities: These are wines produced with specific viticultural or vinification points of difference.
Max Reserva: These are from a limited selection of the best grapes grown at the Don Maximiano, Manzanar and La Escultra Estates: concentrated, complex but elegant.
Flagships: The very best from Viña Errazuriz. In January 2004, at a blind tasting in Berlin, Viñedo Chadwick was placed first by an international jury, comprised of many of Europe's top wine writers, ahead of the most expensive and reputed wines of the Old World. This landmark tasting proved the quality and potential of this fine wine, and has been repeated with similar results as far afield as Japan, Canada and Brazil. In 2009 a similar tasting took place in London including some of the finest Cabernet Sauvignons from around the world. Hosted by Steven Spurrier and Peter Richards MW, the great and the good of the UK wine trade were in attendance to share their opinions on the impressive line up.
Vina Errazuriz is committed to the concept of "terroir"- the idea that each vineyard imparts its own distinct characteristic to the grapes grown there. Achieving premium quality in a wine therefore begins in the vineyard, with finding the right combination of soil and climate, planting the most suitable clones and tailoring management techniques to the specific needs of the vineyard.
These estates are carefully managed by the Errazuriz viticultural team. The team is dedicated to environmentally friendly viticultural practice and are consistently innovating with micromanagement techniques, experimenting with clones and different irrigation systems. The viticultural team works hand in hand with the winemakers headed up by Francisco Baettig.
Don Maximiano Estate (Max) Vineyards - Aconcagua Valley: This 228ha Don Maximiano Estate consists of seven plots centred around Panquehue. It is here that Errazuriz produces its finest red wines, such as Don Maximiano Founders Reserve, Kai Carmenère, La Cumbre Syrah and the Max Reserva red wines. Here the sub-humid Mediterranean climate is moderated by gentle cool breezes from the Pacific Ocean, which penetrate deep into the valley. The valley's shallow, alluvial soils and high heat summation during the growing season are ideal for producing highly concentrated fruit.
Aconcagua Costa "Manzanar" Estate- Aconcagua Valley: This new estate is located in the Aconcagua coastal sector, just 12 km from the sea. 230 hectares have been planted to date with varieties best suited to the soil, slope and aspect of the property and in particular, the cool climate of this area. Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir make up the majority of the plantings while cool climate Syrah has also been produced with excellent results.
Pioneering this vineyard in a totally new area is a bold step but one which the team at Errazuriz believes will open a new chapter in the production of wine in the Aconcagua Valley by establishing the region as a source of quality, cool climate varietals.
La Escultura Estate - Casablanca Valley: The Escultura Estate, of 75 ha, is located in the Casablanca Valley and is dedicated to the production of highly characteristic, cool climate white wines and, more recently, the Pinot Noir variety. The Casablanca Valley, located 25km from the South Pacific, is strongly influenced by morning fog during the summer and cool breezes from the Pacific Ocean. This allows for a long, even ripening of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vines.
Viñedo Chadwick Estate - Maipo Valley: The Viñedo Chadwick vineyard is located in Puento Alto, on the south-east border of Santiago, along the Northern bank of the Maipo river at the foothills of the Andes Mountains. It is situated in one of the best areas of the Maipo Valley for growing exceptional quality.
The property stretches up to 25 hectares and was home to Don Alfonso Chadwick Errazuriz, father to Eduardo Chadwick - Vina Errazuriz's president. Besides running the family business Vina Errazuriz, Don Alfonso was a Chilean Polo Champion and he would practise his sport on the estate's Polo Field. In the spring of 1992 the polo field was planted with a selection of the best clones of Cabernet Sauvignon (12ha) and Merlot (2 ha).
The total 15 ha planted is on soils of clay loam over a stone filled riverbed of alluvial origin. The vines are spaced at 2 metres by 1.2 metres between vines, with 4,166 vines per ha. The vines are trained vertically and spur pruned. Overall the vineyard is managed using sustainable farming and micro management practices. The vineyard is divided into small blocks and each block is micro managed to ensure the best possible quality is obtained from each vine. This micro management includes a highly technical drip irrigation system that allows different irrigation patterns among the defined blocks in the vineyard.
Yields are maintained at a maximum of 5 to 7 ton/ha and at harvest time the various blocks are harvested separately and at different times. Even sections of one individual row can be harvested two or three times. Only the best grapes are selected and all are hand harvested.
The grapes from this single vineyard go to make Viñedo Chadwick, a flagship wine for Errazuriz, named in memory of the late Don Alfonso Chadwick Errazuriz.
In The Winery
The Errazuriz Winery was established in 1870 when the founder Don Maximiano Errazuriz first brought vines to the area. The original building still stands and now serves as a cellar door and dining space with the spectacular underground cellars being used for museum wine storage and hospitality.
A new temperature controlled barrel hall with a capacity of 15,000 barrels was added in 2007. Diurnal heating/cooling saves energy and areas can be separated off to provide warmer conditions for fermentation.
Two brand new winery buildings were completed in 2010; one for Max Reserva wines and one for the Errazuriz flagships. In the Max Reserva winery, a huge selection of different tank sizes, gravity flow and open top fermenters are now available to the winemaking team to give them more flexibility in their continuing quest for the best quality. The Don Maximiano Icon Winery is an architecturally stunning masterpiece with oak fermenters and environmentally friendly 'ground source' heating/cooling. Sitting alongside the original 1870 building, these new developments show the importance of respecting the company's heritage whilst having a clear vision for the future.
Errazuriz Kai 2010Full-bodied and elegant wine with silky smooth tannins, rich ripe black fruit with subtle spice and toasty oak; long and perfectly balanced.