Vina von Siebenthal
At the age of 40 Swiss-born Mauro von Siebenthal decided to pack in his successful legal profession and leave his homeland to become a wine producer in Chile, choosing Panquehue in the centre of the Aconcagua Valley to plant 10 hectares of vines in 1998. The “Casona” style cellar was opened in 2000 and the first Viña von Siebenthal wines were produced in 2002. Mauro is a wine aficionado; a lover of Bordeaux wines, he started collecting it before he was legally old enough to drink, and he believes that the terroir of Aconcagua gives the wines from here their character and unique distinctiveness, in the same way as the terroir of Bordeaux does to their singular wines. The Bordeaux notion, where everything is based on the concept of terroir, is Mauro's maxim. The small subregion of Panquehue, a semi-dessert area situated halfway between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean, provides excellent phytosanitary conditions and is one of Chile's most exclusive wine-growing areas for Bordeaux grape varieties. Today 30 hectares are under vine farmed organically with mainly Bordeaux and some Rhône varietals, producing six red and one white wine – a voluptuous Viognier. Yields are drastically reduced to intensify the aromas of the fruit. Through assiduous of study of the soils, the identity of each plot is understood and interpreted, so that each grape variety is planted to coax out its inimitable qualities: Merlot and Cabernet Franc are cultivated in the cool clay-limestone soils of the plains, whereas Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Carmenere and Petit Verdot prefer the warm sandy, stony soils of the hills. Mauro takes a hands-on approach with every facet of the business and has developed Viña von Siebenthal into one of the most prestigious wineries in Chile. Tatay de Cristóbal, a Carmenere and Petit Verdot blend, was one of the first Chilean wines to be priced at around £150 a bottle. Mauro wants his wines to be elegant, with the potential to age and, to this end, a small, but meticulously handcrafted portfolio of exquisite wines are produced, each one with their own unique story expressing the extraordinary characteristics of the terroir of Aconcagua.