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Vina Leyda

The Leyda Valley is a small subregion of the San Antonio Valley in the Aconcagua region of Chile. This innovative winery pioneered the Leyda Valley, planting the first vines in the area in 1998 on the west side of the Chilean Coastal Range, in close proximity to the Pacific Ocean. The Chilean Coastal Range is home to the country's oldest soils, granitic in composition which results in vibrant wines with high minerality. Viña Leyda saw the potential of this cool coastal region to produce quality grapes, which was yet untapped probably because the valley lacked the water necessary to sustain the vines and to make this happen required major investment. Undeterred, with financial backing from investors and the state they built an 8 kilometre aqueduct to bring water from the Maipo River. The first wines were released in 2001 under the Aconcagua DO, but Viña Leyda knew the value of their singular slice of the valley and spearheaded a campaign which resulted in the Leyda Valley obtaining its own DO in 2002, recognising the uniqueness of the region. They use the latest technology to analyse every detail of the valley and committed to ongoing research to ensure that every variety performs to its maximum potential. Viña Leyda farm two vineyards: the 75 hectare El Granito Vineyard is planted with Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Pinot Noir, just 4 kilometres from the Pacific Ocean. The 88 hectare El Maitén Vineyard is 12 kilometres from the ocean, under vine with Pinot Noir, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. The ocean's proximity has a moderating effect on the vineyards: the grapes ripen slowly, enhancing their aromas, flavours and natural acidity, and imbues the wines with a saline character. To cement this further at Viña Leyda they pick early to ensure the fresh fruit profile and herbal characteristics with low alcohol levels, which are the signature style of their wines, is preserved. They take a boutique approach to winemaking in their state-of-the-art cellar. Malolactic fermentation is eschewed for whites to preserve the fresh acidity that is unique to the valley, and reds are vinified gently to avoid over extraction. Little barrel ageing is used, instead concrete tanks and stainless steel are preferred to lock in all those fresh aromas and flavours their wines are known for. Viña Leyda produce a stunning portfolio: the Reserva range are expressive, pure and fresh, fruity and juicy wines; the Single Vineyard range express the best exponents of Leyda's terroir, inextricably linked to place. Lot are the pinnacle of the range. These limited release wines crafted from a selection of polygons have real character and sense of identity. Viña Leyda are among the most awarded wineries in Chile. Their terroir-driven wines reflect the cool coastal influence of Chile's coastline. These are fresh and mineral wines, the epitome of Chilean elegance.

www.winedirect.co.uk/vina-leyda