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The winery takes its name from the Mapuche (the indigenous people of present day south-central Chile and southwestern Argentina) name for the Upland or Magellan goose – the Caiquén or Kaikén. These Patagonian wild geese fly between Argentina to Chile across the Andes which is quite a challenging feat and Aurelio Montes took inspiration from this achievement when he came to name his new winery. He considered Argentina an interesting challenge, recognising the tremendous potential Mendoza had for premium viticulture, and that it could be the perfect place to make wine that would embody everything a great wine should be. So he decided to expand into Argentina, crossing the Andes from Chile to Argentina many times before he found the right site to begin his new venture. Aurelio of course was no stranger to invention. Having started from scratch he co-founded in 1987 what is now one of the most important wineries in Chile - Viña Montes. One of his sayings is “only imagination pushes the limits” and in 2002 he founded Kaikén. The cellar he later acquired was built in 1920 by Italo Carlise, and this has been furnished with the most modern winemaking equipment. Today Aurelio's son, Aurelio Montes Junior, heads up the team. The estate is located in Vistalba, in the Luján de Cuyo region of Mendoza, at the foot of the majestic Andes Mountains. Kaikén own five different sustainably farmed vineyard sites in some of the most prestigious locations in Mendoza.
The 28.5 Vistalba Vineyard in Luján de Cuyo planted at 1,050 metres above sea level on alluvial derived sandy loam, pebbly soils with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay, makes well-structured elegant and complex wines.
The 70 hectare Agrelo Vineyard in Luján de Cuyo, planted on deep silty loam soils at 950 metres with Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bonada, Cabernet Franc, Marselan, Ancellota, Semillon, and Sauvignon Blanc. It produces floral and fruity wines with smooth tannins.
Los Chacayes Vineyard in the Tunuyán region of the Uco Valley, has 150 hectares planted with Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon, and bush vine Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc on sandy and skeletal soils at 1,250 metres, produces wines with great structure and colour intensity.
The Gualtallary Vineyard is planted on poor calcareous soils with Malbec, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir at 4,265 metres. This is one of the highest areas in Mendoza, where the ultra-cool climate makes intense, extremely elegant wines.
The Altamira Vineyard in the San Carlos region of the Uco Valley is planted at 1,200 metres with Malbec and Chardonnay on calcareous soils with sand, lime and stones and produces wines with a dark fruit profile and marked minerality.
The Cafayate Valley Vineyard in Salta is between 1,600 and 2,400 metres on sandy loam soils with granitic rock, and the Torontés Riojano planted here is crafted into a white wine of aromatic intensity.
The Kaikén wines are faithful expressions of the Mendoza terroir and for wines of this quality offer tremendous value for money.