Chile Â» Aconcagua Â» Aconcagua Valley Â» Curico Â» Vina Errazuriz S.A
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History & Philosophy
Chile is a land of soaring Andes mountains, a mild Mediterranean climate, and fine wines. From the premium wine producing regions of Chile come the best grapes, and it is here that Viña Errázuriz has been producing the highest quality Chilean wines for more than 130 years.
Don Maximiano Errázuriz founded Viña Errázuriz in 1870 in the Valle de Aconcagua, 100 kms north of the capital city, Santiago. Recognizing that this valley, with its cool, rainy winters, hot, dry summers and moist Pacific Ocean breezes, was ideal for growing grapes, Don Maximiano sent for the finest clones from France and with tenacity and perseverance transformed this barren land into a world-class vineyard.
Today, the tradition of quality lives on with Don Maximiano’s descendant, Eduardo Chadwick. Eduardo is the fifth generation of his family to be involved in the wine business.
Eduardo has overseen the modernisation of the winemaking technology at this historic estate while maintaining a distinct identity for its wines. Dedicated to producing estate grown wines of superior quality, Errázuriz has built a reputation as the “Best of Chile”.
Errázuriz’s philosophy is best expressed by Don Maximiano who said, “From the best land, the best wine.” As an estate winery, Viña Errázuriz strives to produce the finest wines by controlling every stage of the winemaking process, from grape growing in the Aconcagua, Casablanca and Curicó valleys, to winemaking with the most natural techniques. An emphasis is placed on the delicate handling of the wines, with the aim of producing wines with elegance and complexity. It is his dynamism and passion for wine that has made Errázuriz such an internationally respected producer of quality wines.
Don Maximiano Errazuriz In 1832, Don Maximiano Errázuriz was born in Santiago, Chile, into one of Chilean society’s most historically ignificant families. Francisco Errázuriz, a Spaniard of Basque origin, was the first member of this family to arrive in Chile in 1735. Since their arrival in Chile over two centuries ago, members of the Errázuriz family have played significant roles in the most important cultural, social and political events. The Errázuriz family has given the nation four presidents of the Republic, two Archbishops of Santiago, and several diplomats, writers and industrialists; all of them men who have helped to build the country and have contributed widely to its development and prestige.
Don Maximiano Errázuriz studied in Santiago and later settled in Valparaíso, which at the time was one of the main ports of Chile and South America. In Valparaíso, he met his future wife, Amalia Urmeneta, daughter of José Tomás Urmeneta, who was the wealthiest man in the country. Don Maximiano and Amalia were married in 1855, she was 18 and he was 22 years old.
Soon after the marriage, Don Maximiano Errázuriz entered into a partnership with his father-in-law to form a copper producing company. Copper is one of Chile’s most important natural resources, and at one time, their company accounted for one third of the world’s total copper production. A year later, in 1856, Don Maximiano Errázuriz formed “Compañía de Gas de Santiago”, a company which was responsible for establishing street lightening in the capital city of Santiago.
A few years later, the couple moved to Guayacán, in the northern part of the country. There, Don Maximiano enjoyed the hard work of managing the mining company’s production and business operations. But the move to Guayacán would prove tragic. While pregnant with her fourth child, health problems forced Amalia to return to Santiago and live with her mother-in-law. She never recovered completely after the birth of their son Rafael. Amalia died in 1861, at the young age of 24.
After Amalia’s death, Don Maximiano Errázuriz placed his children in the care of his mother and moved from the north back to Valparaíso in order to be near them and still manage his business. His family was concerned about his grief for his wife. In order to help him, they encouraged Don Maximiano to embark on a yearlong journey across Europe, where he was able to reinvigorate his interest in history and the arts.
In addition to his tireless dedication to his family and businesses, Don Maximiano Errázuriz participated actively in Chile’s public life. As a young man of 25, he served for the first time in the Chamber of Deputies. He was elected representative for three periods and subsequently Senator of the Republic for nine years. He also participated actively as a representative of the Chilean government on diplomatic tasks in the United States and in the United Kingdom. On one occasion, he showed his undying commitment to his country by backing Chilean government dealings with his own personal finances.
In 1870, following the example of his father-in-law, he planted a vineyard on land he bought in Panquehue, a small town located north of Santiago in the Valle de Aconcagua. In contrast to other families who started planting vineyards in the outskirts of Santiago, he followed his pioneering instincts and planted further away from the capital. Don Maximiano Errázuriz dedicated his vineyards with the declaration,“from the best land, the best wine.”
His well-organized and maintained vineyards were regarded as a model of superior viticultural techniques, serving as evidence that Don Maximiano Errázuriz was an entrepreneur who could also work with nature. He once said, “Grapevines should be carefully tended and treated like a work of art, since their life span runs parallel to that of humans. A vine should be educated, cared for, and trained like a man, it should not be allowed to grow unoriented, because to bear proper fruits, it must not extend its branches in vain.” Don Maximiano Errázuriz planted a total of 300 hectares in Panquehue. Later, his son Rafael increased the plantings to 700 hectares, with the Errázuriz vineyards becoming - based on the information of the time - the world’s largest vineyard in the hands of a single owner.
In 1871, Don Maximiano Errázuriz met Carmen Valdés, daughter of the Governor of Valparaíso, whom he married. Shortly thereafter, he began the construction of a large house in Panquehue. A beautiful park designed by French landscapers surrounded the house. This was to become the residence of the new couple.
However, fate intervened. 1871 was a year of presidential elections, and unfortunately for Don Maximiano Errázuriz, the candidates running for office were very close to him: his stepbrother Rafael Errázuriz and his father-in-law José Tomás Urmeneta. He did not want his strong political influence to be used to affect the outcome of the election. In order to avoid being forced to take sides, he decided to leave the country. He traveled to Paris with his new wife and children. In the course of their subsequent return, Carmen became severely ill with yellow fever. She survived the trip only to die in Chile, close to her family.
With unshakable courage, Don Maximiano Errázuriz continued his activities and concentrated in his childrens’ education. He decided to build a new house in Santiago, where he moved in order to put some distance between him and his painful memories. This building, presently the Brazilian Embassy, is regarded as one of the most beautiful architectural designs in the capital city.
After the death of his former father-in-law and partner José Tomás Urmeneta in 1878, Don Maximiano Errázuriz formed a new partnership with his children and began a gradual retreat from the world of business, diplomacy and politics. In 1883, with his children already married, he settled permanently at his vineyard in Panquehue, selling his house in Santiago. He decided to live in the property’s administration house, and never used the mansion he had built to share with his second wife. At 48, he completely transformed his life and became devoted to prayer and to aiding the poor. He lived austerely in the peacefulness of Panquehue, building houses for his workers, founding a school and a church. He also donated a significant portion of his art collection to charitable institutions.
Don Maximiano Errázuriz died in 1890, at the age of 58.
President Eduardo Chadwick began his wine career in 1983 at age 23. Following his graduation from the Universidad Católica de Chile with an MS in Industrial Engineering, Eduardo joined his father Alfonso Chadwick-Errázuriz at the familyowned Viña Errázuriz, founded by Don Maximiano Errázuriz in 1870 in the Valle de Aconcagua. He quickly began to learn from his father, acquire the skills of viticulture and winemaking, and understand the true potential in Chile for fine wines.
From 1985 through the early 1990s, Eduardo concentrated on incorporating new viticultural practices and sourcing modern winemaking equipment for his winery. In 1988 he created Don Maximiano Founder’s Reserve, the first ultra-premium wine from Viña Errázuriz, using the best grapes from the granitic hillside vineyards of the flagship Don Maximiano Estate. He also began expanding Viña Errázuriz vineyards within the Valle de Aconcagua and experimenting with new clones and varieties such as Carmenere and Syrah.
In 1994 he created Hatch Mansfield Agencies in the United Kingdom in partnership with Maison Louis Jadot from Burgundy to distribute Errázuriz, Jadot, and other fine wines. He remains the Chair to this day. That same year Eduardo became a director of the Chilean Wine Export Association based in Santiago, Chile, today known as Vinos de Chile. He continues to be an active promoter of Chilean wines throughout the world.
In 1995 Eduardo formed a partnership with Robert Mondavi and his family in Napa, California with the aim of creating the first Chilean icon wine. Seña was launched in January 1997. Today Eduardo is the winery’s sole owner, and he is converting the Seña Hillside Vineyard into a biodynamic estate to enhance the true “terroir” of this elite wine. The joint venture also produced the superpremium wines Arboleda and Caliterra, from the Aconcagua and Colchagua appellations respectively, now marketed worldwide.
Eduardo is extremely interested in wine education and particularly in illustrating Chile’s growing reputation for fine wines. To this end, Viña Errázuriz became a Principal Supporter of the Institute of Masters of Wine in 1999 and continues to lend its support to the organization. The Institute exists to promote the highest level of educational achievement in the wine industry worldwide, a philosophy Eduardo shares and actively promotes.
In 2002 Eduardo introduced the first Viñedo Chadwick wine when he released the 1999 vintage. This is an Ultra-Premium red wine named in honour of his father, Don Alfonso Chadwick. This wine comes from grapes grown at the Chadwick family home, now an historical landmark in the Alto Maipo Valley. The vineyard is planted on the land that not only has a unique terroir, but which was once a polo field on which Don Alfonso played his beloved sport.
An historic event took place in Berlin on January 2004. As part of a blind tasting of first growth wines from classic French and Italian appellations beside the best of Errázuriz wines, Eduardo presented his 2000 and 2001 icon wines Viñedo Chadwick, Seña, and Don Maximiano Founder’s Reserve. The three wines eclipsed famous houses such as Château Lafite, Château Margaux, Château Latour and Italian cult wines Tignanello, Sassicaia, Solaia and Guado al Tasso. The decision was determined in a blind tasting conducted by Steven Spurrier with a panel of some of Europe’s most esteemed winewriters and buyers. Viñedo Chadwick 2000 and Seña 2001 were placed first and second respectively in what Jancis Robinson recognized as a milestone for the Chilean wine industry, now known simply as the“The Berlin Tasting”.
In July 2005, Decanter magazine recognized Eduardo among the fifty most influential personalities of the wine industry, and Viña Errázuriz was described as the “quality benchmark from Chile”.
In December 2005, Eduardo was invited to become a member of Chile’s “Vitivinicultural Merit Society,” which was formed in 1983 by a group of select winemakers, professors, and distinguished personalities of the Chilean wine industry to watch over the authenticity, quality, and image of Chilean wine. After more than twenty-five years this prominent organization is seen as the ethical trust for Chilean winemaking.
In 2006 Eduardo initiated planting in a new viticultural area in Chile, Aconcagua Costa, a cool climate region in the coastal sector of the Valle de Aconcagua, where grapes had never been grown before. This was a pioneering move into a new winegrowing area that has proven particularly apt for varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
In July 2008, just a week before the Olympic Games, another blind tasting was held, this time in China. In The Beijing Tasting he once again put his top wines up against French Grand Cru and Super Tuscans. The 2005 and 2004 vintages of Don Maximiano Founder’s Reserve were selected first and second place by the most influential journalists, winewriters, sommeliers, and members of the Chinese wine trade.
In November 2008, Viña Errázuriz was chosen best of the year on two continents in the same week. First, in the 39th International Wine & Spirit Competition Awards (IWSC) the winery was named the“Producer of the Year,” and just days after this major achievement, the Wines of Chile Association named Viña Errázuriz the “2008 Winery of the Year” for its commitment to spreading the word about Chile as a world class appellation, and its contribution to enhance the quality and premium image of Chilean Wines worldwide.
In May 2009 Eduardo received two important awards for his ongoing innovative spirit, passion, and commitment to the Chilean wine industry. First he was named“2008 Wine Personality of the Year” by the Chilean Food Writers Guild, and a week later, during the International Wine Fair held in London, UK, he was again honoured by the British Magazine Drink Business with the “Special Contribution to the Industry”.
Eduardo and his wife Maria Eugenia married in 1987. They live in Santiago and have four daughters. When not in the winery or chasing around the world, Eduardo enjoys playing tennis, skiing, and mountain climbing. He recently scaled Mount Aconcagua which at 6,962 meters (22,841 feet) is the highest peak in the western hemisphere. It is particularly significant in that the melt water from this peak runs down into the valley and irrigates the Don Maximiano vineyards themselves.
Winemaker Born in 1969 in Santiago Francisco joined Viña Errázuriz as Chief Winemaker in 2003. He is an Agronomist Engineer from the University of Chile and obtained a Masters Degree from the Faculty of Oenology at the University of Bordeaux (Diplôme d’Etudes Supérieurs Spécialisées), through a scholarship awarded by the French government.
Throughout his career Francisco has participated in vintages in France in Languedoc-Roussillon as flying winemaker for Michel Laroche, in Pomerol at Le Bon Pasteur, one of the renowned Michel Rolland’s wineries, and in Sancerre at Chateau de Sancerre, reputed for its white wines. He has also worked in the United States at Hallcrest Winery one of the first organically certified wineries in California also in Argentina for a year and has been on numerous technical visits in New Zealand, France, Italy, Australia, Argentina and United States.
In Chile he worked for 4 years as an Assistant Winemaker for Casa Lapostolle before joining Viña Errázuriz.
Francisco speaks perfect English and French and his love of airplanes moved him to acquire his pilot license for single-motor planes in 1998.
With his French wife they have two daughters.
Viña Errazuriz S.A
Av. Nueva Tajamar 481
Office 503 Torre Sur, Las Condes, Santiago, Chile
Phone: (56-2) 339-9100
Fax: (56-2) 203-6690
Vineyard Name : Vina Errazuriz S.A
Vineyard Country : Chile
Vineyard Region : Aconcagua
Vineyard Sub Region : Aconcagua Valley
Vineyard Town : Curico
Vineyard Owner Name :
Vineyard Submitted By
Vina Errazuriz S.A
Avenida Nueva Tajamar 481
Tel : 56 2 3399100
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