Tag Archives: Vina Garces Silva

Boutique wine revolution (San Antonio & Leyda Valley, Chile)

A common question posed to me before I left Australia (granted by non-industry folks), was “15 months of wine tasting? Won’t you be sick of wine at the end of it?” My response is what many who work with wine would be. “Not a chance. When you are working with wine you are tasting all the time, and as every wine is different there is always a new experience to be had.” This is even more true in my case, as I am actually going to the source. Thus, just like every wine is different, every region, vineyard, winery, winemaker, and experience are different. Visiting the regions in Chile, without any expectations or preconceived notions, has been eye-opening to say the least. They are truly blessed with a wide variety of climates and soil types, and the rest of the world should keep an eye on Chile. As they gain more experience and come to terms with their unique terroir, the wines will just get better and better. The San Antonio & Leyda region is not dissimilar to Casablanca to the North, in terms of its proximity to the coast and focus on white varieties. The difference in climate although subtle is very noticeable; it is much cooler here than in Casablanca. This difference has a profound effect on the wines, particularly the sauvignon blancs, arguably the most important variety in both regions. Leyda was opened up fairly recently, by the introduction of a pipeline that would carry water from the Maipo River to provide necessary irrigation. The region has grown quickly, and is now at capacity, as any new plantings would require another water source. This is probably why there are about 10 times more vineyard hectares planted in Casablanca which has better access to water.

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