Viña Errazuriz was founded in 1870 in Panquehue, a commune in Valparaiso, about 120 kilometres north-west of of Chile's capital Santiago, by politician and entrepreneur Don Maximiano Errazuriz. He was of Spanish-Basque origin whose family had settled in Chile in 1775. Don Maximiano was a pioneer and the first to plant French grape varieties in Chile’s Aconcagua Valley, but the birth of his winery was through tragedy. His wife Amalia died aged 24, shortly after giving birth to their fourth child, and to relieve his grief Don Maximiano embarked on a long trip through Europe. On his return home he planted vines, and established his winery. Today the business is headed by sole owner Eduardo Chadwick, a fifth generation descendent of the winery’s founder. The new world is now much more conscious of terroir, but Errazuriz was one of the first Chilean producers to recognise this. Eduardo Chadwick visited vineyards in Europe to research terroir as he wanted his wines to have a sense of place, and the whole philosophy of Errazuriz is committed to the idea that each vineyard imparts its own distinct characteristics to the grapes grown there, with the premise “from the best lands, the best wine”. Errazuriz made history in the Berlin 2004 blind tasting when its Vinedo Chadwick was voted the top wine against France’s Chateau Lafite, Chateau Latour and Chateau Margaux, and Italy’s Sassicaia, Solaia and Tignanello! An incredible accolade that made the world sit up and start to take note of Chilean wines. They have 8 separate estates in the Aconcagua Valley, from the mountains to the coast.
The 19.3 hectare Max I Vineyard is planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Syrah on granitic soils with a sandy loam texture. The icon wines Don Maximiano Founder's Reserve and La Cumbre Syrah, come from here.
Max II has Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere and Syrah planted on colluvial soils with a clay and loam texture and a high content of stones. These grapes are for their Max Reserva and Single Vineyard ranges.
The 15.7 Max III vineyard was certified organic in 2003, and has Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah planted on colluvial, loamy-textured stony soils.
The 12 hectare Max IV is planted with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot on deep clay soils with a 50% stone content, and this is where the grapes for the Max Reserva Merlot comes from.
The 48.8 Max V is planted on the valley's plains on alluvial soils with a sandy loam texture and 50% stones, with Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and the Carmenere vines that make their fabulous Kai.
The 46.7 hectare Max VI is their youngest vineyard, planted in 2006 on loamy to sandy-loamy soils with Syrah, Merlot, Carmenere and Viognier, which go for both their Max Reserva and Specialities ranges.
Max VII has the classical grape varieties as well as Grenache, Tempranillo, and Marsanne planted on alluvial and colluvial soils with a clay texture and a high content of stones, and produces Mediterranean style wines.
The Aconcagua Costa Estate is located on the coast, roughly 12 kilometres from the Pacific Ocean. Here a thin layer of loamy textured soil lying over a strata of clays and rocks, is planted with Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Syrah and Merlot. Errazuriz were the first to cultivate vines in the coastal area of the valley, a cool climate zone with a strong maritime influence – this lead to the formation of the new Chilean appellation “Aconcagua Costa” in 2012.
The grapes for their Bordeaux style blend, the magnificent Mondavi collaboration Seña, come from their estate in Ocoa in the Aconcagua Valley, and the Cabernet Sauvignon for their iconic Viñedo Chadwick comes from their vineyard in the Puento Alto region of Maipo,
A new winery was officially opened in 2010, designed by Samuel Claro, conceived as a ship sailing through a sea of vines, it is equipped with latest state-of-the -art technologies, and uses geothermal and solar energy. This fabulous ultra modern building stands right beside the historic cellar built by the founder in 1870, which now houses a collection of Errazuriz's icon wines.
Since 2003 talented Swiss winemaker Francisco Baettig Hidalgo has been crafting elegant and balanced wines with the expression of the grapes origin. There is little doubt that Errazuriz are one of the very best producers in Chile, producing some of the finest Bordeaux style wines in South America today, every one of them, from entry level to icon, a masterpiece of elegance and complexity.