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News

Francisco Baettig nominated for Winemaker of the Year!

Francisco Baettig of Viña Errázuriz has been nominated for Winemaker of the Year by Wine Enthusiast Magazine! Only five winemakers from around the globe have been selected. At the forefront of the Chilean wine scene, Baettig has consistently allowed his fruit to shine, producing wines of elegance and balance that reflect its terroir.

Winners will be announced on December 31st in the “Best of Year” Wine Star Awards issue and the honorees will be presented their Wine Star Award trophies at a black-tie gala awards dinner on Monday, January 30, 2017 in Miami.

 

 

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History

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.

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Vineyards

The Valle de Aconcagua has a Mediterranean climate with warm summers that are cooled by breezes of the Pacific Ocean and its cold Humboldt Current. This cooling influence creates a long growing season with ripenig some two to three weeks later than any other Chilean wine region. Late ripening enhances the flavours, intensity and concentration of our wines.

 

Average rainfall in the valley is 250mm (9.8 inches) and only comes during the winter; this is about a quarter of the rainfall in Bordeaux, making for generally more concentrated wines. This lack of rain helps the viticulturalists to control vigour and berry size, as well as to maintain ripening. As the air is warm and dry, fungal diseases like mildew and botrytis are unknown in the valle de Aconcagua, this allows us to pursue a non-interventionist, sustainable approach to viticulture.

 

Irrigation is vital for grape production in the Aconcagua Region. We are blessed with a wonderful supply of snowmelt from the Andes that flows into the river system; this water is then diverted to irrigation canals that surround the valley taking it to where it is needed. Drip irrigation systems then deliver the water to the feet os specific vines. The soil make up of the valley is diverse and complex; the riverbed soils are very stony because of the acumulation of stones carried by the glaciers in the Andes Mountains, In the foothills are granite soils with high gravel and sand content, while the valley floors have loam and clay loams.

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Winemaking

Winemaker

Francisco was born in Santiago in 1969 and has been Chief Winemaker at Viña Errázuriz since 2003. In 2011 he also assumed the responsibilities of the Corporate Enological Management for the Viñas Errázuriz Group, which includes the Errázuriz, Arboleda, Seña, and Caliterra wineries. Francisco holds a degree in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Chile and a Master’s degree in enology from the University of Bordeaux (Diplôme d’Etudes Supérieurs Spécialisées), which he pursued with a scholarship from the French government.

 

In recognition of his professional trajectory and the great wines he has crafted, Francisco was awarded the distinction of 2011 Winemaker of the Year, by the Chilean Guild of Food & Wine Writers.

Over the course of his career, Francisco has participated in a number of crushes in France. He was a flying winemaker at the Michel Laroche winery in Languedoc-Roussillon; at Le Bon Pasteur in Pomerol, one of Michel Rolland’s renowned wineries; and at Chateau de Sancerre, which is famous for its white wines, in Sancerre. His US experience includes the Hallcrest Winery, one of the first in California to be certified organic. In Argentina he worked as the Technical Director at the Jacques et Francois Lurton winery in the Uco Valley. He has also participated in numerous technical visits in France, New Zealand, Italy, Portugal, Australia, and Argentina.

 

In Chile Francisco began his career in Viña Santa Carolina and then spent four years at Casa Lapostolle, where he was an Assistant Winemaker before he entered Viña Errázuriz.

In addition to his native Spanish, Francisco speaks fluent English and French, and his love of flying led him to earning his license to pilot single-engine planes in 1998. He and his wife Leticia, from France, have two daughters.

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Inside information

Harvest report – 2012

The 2011–2012 season was warm and dry with moderate yields. Compared to last season, this year had higher minimum and maximum average temperatures in February and March and less precipitation between October and April, which led to very healthy grapes but made water management difficult by generating stress in the vines and dehydration of the grapes in some cases.

 

The low yields for some varieties were mainly due to poor induction of the buds that emerged in spring 2011, caused by low temperatures in November 2010 and throughout the 2010–2011 season. Spring temperatures in 2011 were low during budbreak and flowering, although minimum temperatures rose faster than high temperatures in December and afterward, creating very favourable conditions for optimum fruit set. Average minimum temperatures rose in January while average highs dropped, which led to optimal veraison at approximately 28°C/82°F. Although January is usually the warmest month, this season the highest temperatures were recorded in February (the warmest month in all localities) and March, which accelerated sugar accumulation, especially in the northern zone.

 

At Viña Errázuriz, yields were down overall by an average of 3% in relation to the Agricultural Plan. The varieties affected most by lower yields were Cabernet Sauvignon (-20.1%) Cabernet Franc (-15.4%), Sauvignon Blanc (-5.3%), and Carmenere (-6.3%). Meanwhile, yields of Petit Verdot, Syrah, and Chardonnay rose by 12%, 4.5%, and 4.3%, respectively.
Data collected from our 7 meteorological stations this season show that the 2011–2012 season had a heat summation in all zones that was higher than last season and the historic average. The increase in temperatures was a major factor in ensuring proper phenolic ripening in late red varieties such as Carmenere, but the biggest challenges were to keep water levels up in the plants (proper irrigation), to prevent solar exposure of the fruit (no leaf pulling), and harvesting early to prevent dehydration of the fruit while maintaining acidity and fruit intensity.

 

In regard to the season’s effect on the quality of the wines, the whites displayed proper fruit intensity, moderate alcohol, and a lush palate with no phenolic notes. The quality of the Chardonnay is especially outstanding this year.

The reds display vibrant colour, optimum acidity, and good fruit intensity, leading to fruity, well-rounded wines with smooth tannins.

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11 different wines with 30 vintages

Highlights

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 Luis Gutierrez, Wine Writer (Spain)  tasted  5 wines  from  Viña Errázuriz . In a tasting of  25 wines 

The 2017 Aconcagua Costa "Las Pizarras" Chardonnay is really fascinating, and it's even sharper, more restrained and with higher acidity than the 2016 that I tasted next to it. Winemaker Francisco "Pancho" Baettig is really pushing the wine to the limits—harvesting early and with more concentration and structure achieved through lower yields, which provides depth and complexity. The origin is the same as for 2016, and so is the vinification and aging in French barriques for almost 13 months. This is really young and austere, and it took some time in the glass to open up. It has Chablis-like definition, austerity and crispness; it's pure, mineral, long, precise like a laser cut, symmetric and chiseled. Even if it's sharp and citrusy, the palate has more volume and depth, and some nutty notes appear after some time. It's more like a Meursault than a Chablis this time, with great length, and I couldn't help but think of the whites from Jean-Marc Roulot when tasting this. It's a monumental mineral white, with the coastal freshness and the slate tastiness. This is hands down the best vintage of Las Pizarras and the best Chardonnay I've ever tasted from Chile. It's amazing how this wine has developed in only four vintages. As an American friend of mine would say, it's awesome beyond belief! 7,000 bottles were filled in March 2018. 98 points


 

24d 12h ago

 Markus Del Monego MW , Pro (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Viña Errázuriz . In a tasting of  6 wines 

Merlot is an amazing grape variety which has the potential of producing great wines but also quite simple stuff. Therefore a tasting was carried out to check upon the ability of ageing and evolution of Merlot from different regions and countries. 

1y 10m ago

 Philip Tuck / Master of Wine, MW (United Kingdom)  tasted  1 wines  from  Viña Errázuriz . In a tasting of  10 wines 

"MY TOP 10 WINES OF 2016"

3y 5m ago

 Viña Errázuriz  has news

Francisco Baettig nominated for Winemaker of the Year! Francisco Baettig of V  more ...

3y 5m ago

 Markus Del Monego MW , Pro (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Viña Errázuriz . In a tasting of  9 wines 

“Boragó belongs to the best restaurants in the world and provides excellent food. The menu "Endémica" is based on endemic products of Chile and proved to be one of the most exciting dinner experiences I ever had. The choice of wines was eclectic with a large number of great wines worth to be discovered.”

4y 16d ago

 Gagan Sharma / Sommelier, Sommelier (India)  tasted  1 wines  from  Viña Errázuriz . In a tasting of  23 wines 

“Masseto is a pure Merlot wine produced by Tenuta dell’Ornellaia since 1986. It is often referred as the “Pétrus of Italy”. In 2011 After a very late-developing 2010 growing season, 2011 was characterised by warm, dry weather and a harvest much earlier than the average.
A rainy winter was followed by a warmer-than average spring that brought forward the start of vine growth by a full 10 days. Budbreak was particularly rapid and uniform, always a good indicator of a fine growing year. Then cooler weather in June and July slowed vine development. The expected rains arrived on schedule after flowering and during veraison, encouraging optimal cluster growth, aromatic intensification, and, even more important, exceptionally-generous accumulation of polyphenols. A heat spell at the end of August further quickened ripening, bringing us the earliest harvest ever in the history of Masseto. The grapes arriving in the cellar were perfectly sound and healthy, well balanced, and with no sign of over-ripeness.

Deep ruby-purple colour. Powerful and intense nose with loads of blackcurrants, toasty oak, fresh herbs, smoke, green capsicum and dark chocolate. Full-bodied structure with intense ripe dark fruit with refined firm tannins and opulence. Good potential for further ageing and investing.

4y 27d ago

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