Winery Reviews


Winery Reviews

Santa Rita Maipo

Long-established, traditional old Chilean winery which had a wake-up call in the late 1990s and is beginning to produce an increasingly fine range of midmarket and premium wines. The 120 range offers some reasonable straightforward easy drinking; the reds are a better bet generally than the whites. Reserva whites are sound but no more; the […]

Odfjell Vineyards Maipo

Daniel and Laurence Odfjell have established vineyards in Maipo very recently. By Chilean standards this is a small, almost boutique style of operation with a production of fewer than 40,000 cases a year across their range. Winemaking consultancy input is provided by Californian winery operator Paul HOBBS, as well as French enologist Arnaud Hereu. There […]

Neyen Colchagua Valley

This newly established winery is producing just one super-premium red. It was purchased in late 2010 by Huneeus Vintners, which also owns Veramonte. While the winery and property were fouded only in 2002, the origins of the estate and the oldest vine plantings go back to the 1890s. The original adobe stone winery has been […]

Montes Curicó

This is a large producer with an extensive range of estate-grown and externally sourced wines. A decent and approachable range of fruit driven wines is produced under the Classic Series and Twins labels but the best are available under the Montes Alpha label and there are a number of other special bottlings. Chardonnay is in […]

Viña Pérez Cruz Maipo

The first vintage at this winery based on the higher slopes of the Maipo was only 2002. They have established themselves though among the best from this, the oldest of Chile’s red wine regions. Their Liguai farm is blessed with finely drained alluvial soils with a high rock content and the resulting grapes offer real […]

Loma Larga Casablanca

This family owned winery has now been established for over a decade. Their vineyards are located in a protected valley providing a warmer climate than some parts of the region and protecting their sites from the cold southerly breezes prevalent in the region. As a result some of the greener notes that can be apparent […]

Viña Leyda Leyda

Based in the sub-region of the same name this winery has vineyards a few kilometres further inland than those of the nearby San Antonio region just to the north-west. The cooling effect of the ocean provides a benevolent environment for impressive Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Planting of the 249 ha of vineyards was first commenced […]

Haras de Pirque Maipo

Eduardo Matte acquired this 600 ha estate in the higher reaches of the Maipo Valley in 1991 and over the next couple of years planted 120 ha of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carmenère as well as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The property is perhaps better known as one of Chile’s best thoroughbred horse breeding studs. […]

Viña Garces Silva San Antonio

The first vintage here was as recent as 2003 and the quality being obtained from cool, coastal Leyda vineyards to the seaward side of the coastal mountains is impressively fine. Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are produced from vineyards planted in well-drained clay/loam soils. Gewürztraminer has also now been planted and should have much […]

Cono Sur Rapel

This operation was established in 1993. There are extensive estate-owned vineyards and the company sources fruit from Casablanca, Maipo, Rapel and the Bío Bío Valley. Under the Bicicleta label some attractively fruity reds and whites are produced. Reserva Especial labelled Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir are all decent and well priced, while the Visión […]

Viñedo Chadwick Maipo

A recently established premium label owned by ERRAZURIZ, with a vineyard located on the northern bank of the Maipo river into the foothills of the Andes. The 300 ha property has been in the Chadwick family since 1945. The vineyard covers a mere 15 ha of the best stony/clay soils. It is now planted to […]

El Principal Maipo Valley

This 54 ha Maipo estate has been developed by Bordelais Patrick Valette, with the vineyard planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère and Merlot. El Principal is a modern Bordeaux style and as at many Bordeaux properties a second wine, Memorias, is produced to ensure the integrity of the grand vin and to this is now added […]

De Martino Maipo

This Maipo based winery produces a fine range of reds and whites not just from the home vineyards but from a number of other areas as well. The winery and its new winemaker Eduardo Jordan place considerable emphasis in finding the best potential areas for each varietal. The Estate wines as is the case with […]

Casa Marin San Antonio

This pioneering family owned winery , just 4 km from the ocean, is in the vanguard of the new and potentially very fine coastal wine region. Founded in 2000 Casa Marin is is now planted to 50 ha of the original varietals of Pinot Noir, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris, Gewürztraminer and Riesling and is […]

Viña Casablanca Casablanca

Established by SANTA CAROLINA well over 10 years ago this has been a consistently impressive producer of good, sometimes very good cool-grown whites. Reds are produced as well and these wines are mostly now vinified from warmer growing areas. There is a fairly wide range of wines produced under the Céfiro label and a number […]

Casas del Bosque Casablanca

Founded in 1993 by Juan Cuneo Solari, Casas del Bosque has grown from a boutique winery to one producing around 1 million bottles a year. All wines are tank fermented with commercial yeasts but nevertheless, some wines of high quality are produced. Gran Reserva and Pesqueñas Producciones (small production) wines are particularly fine. There are […]

Casa Silva Rapel

Among the best of Chile’s newly established winery operations, Casa Silva was set up in 1997 and winemaking is supervised by the experienced Mario Geisse Garcia. The winery owns three different estates and has a total of some 830 ha of vineyards, so is not a small operation by any means. All of the vineyards […]

Carmen Maipo

Carmen is owned by the large SANTA RITA operation. Production here itself is not inconsiderable with vineyard holdings now spread across many of the major regions. As a result an extensive range is produced, both red and white. The regular whites and particularly the reds are well-crafted and full of vibrant, ripe and crunchy fruit. […]

Hacienda Araucano Colchagua

François Lurton has been making wine in Chile since 1992. It was only in 2000 though that he established his own operation in the Colchagua Valley, purchasing a 200 ha property and commencing planting completely afresh, at that time with his brother Jacques. The vineyards are planted on chalky/clay soils, farmed organically with a coastal […]

Viña Aquitania Maipo Valley

This property was originally established as Domaine Paul Bruno in 1984 by the Bordelais’ Bruno Prats of Cos d’Estournel and Paul Pontallier the winemaker at Margaux. They purchased around 18 ha (44 acres) in 1990 at Quebrada de Macul, in the heart of the Maipo at the foot of the Andes. They have since been […]

Viña Altair Cachapoal

This is a new joint venture between the Dassault family of Château DASSAULT in Saint-Emilion and Guillermo Luksic who owns VIÑA SAN PEDRO. Just two premium reds are made with the first vintage of both in 2002. The vineyards are in the Upper Cachapoal, one of the cooler areas of the country, nestled into the […]

Wohlmuth Südsteiermark

Gerhard Wohlmuth oversees what is one of southern Styria’s larger quality estates. The 60 ha of vineyards include some leading sites planted to more than a dozen varieties, 70% white. These are the real stars, including two starkly contrasting Sauvignons. Steinriegel comes from very steep schist slopes, is mostly fermented in stainless steel and has […]

Domäne Wachau Wachau

This Wachau co-op with around 600 growers produces some of the most readily available and affordable examples of Grüner Veltliner and Riesling from the Wachau. While the wines are not at the same level as the very best private estates, standards are nonetheless quite impressive. Volume examples are released under the Wachau Klassik label and […]

Velich Neusiedlersee

From Apetlon in the Neusiedlersee, a short distance from the Hungarian border, the Velich brothers make Austria’s finest Chardonnay. Tiglat is a single vineyard example, 100% barrique-fermented and aged (50% new oak), that combine’s depth and richness with real poise and elegance. It is neither too ripe nor too oaky or leesy as some Austrian […]

Petra Unger Kremstal

Lately helped by her brother Axel, Petra Unger has been running this moderately large (40 ha) Kremstal estate since 1999. The vineyards incorporate those leased by her father from the Benedictine Abbey of Gottweig in 1987. Approachable and easy drinking wines are made under the Q label. While other varieties make a significant contribution, including […]

Ernst Triebaumer Neusiedlersee-Hügelland

Ernst Triebaumer (or ET) is one of the best-known names of Burgenland. From a total of 16 ha of vineyard, he and son Herbert are responsible for a wide range of styles. What is made in a given vintage depends to some extent on the climatic conditions. Whites include Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc as well […]

Tement Südsteiermark

One of the standard-bearers for southern Styria, Manfred Tement makes some superbly balanced and expressive whites, the majority from 45 ha of estate vineyards. Beyond a range of sound, varietally pure Steirische Klassik basics, he makes some very good Chardonnay (Morillon) and at times brilliant Sauvignon. The latter from Grassnitzberg vineyards (limestone) has strength and […]

Heidi Schröck Neusiedlersee-Hügelland

Heidi Schröck achieves the same heights with sweet wines that other female Austrian winemakers do with dry whites or reds (see EHN, EICHINGER, PRIELER and UNGER). Her Ruster Ausbruchs are very good indeed – pure, spicy and concentrated but elegant too. The composition varies but can include Furmint, Welschriesling, Weissburgunder, Grauburgunder and Sauvignon. A wonderfully […]

Schmelz Wachau

This is very much a family business and one with a relatively low profile, at least outside the German speaking countries. Production from 10 ha is roughly two-thirds Grüner Veltliner and one-third Riesling. Vineyard sites include Pichl Point with loess soils, which give a ripe, very fruit-rich Smaragd Grüner. It is also sometimes made in […]

Schloss Gobelsburg Kamptal

This ancient estate still belongs to a Cistercian monastery and the castle itself was built in the early 18th century. Under the winemaking direction of Michael Moosbrugger, with consultancy from Willi BRÜNDLMAYER since 1996, the wines have made amazing progress over recent vintages. 35 ha of vineyards give both Grüner Veltliner and Riesling that are […]

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