The grapes for our Apaltagua Reserve Chardonnay comes from vineyards located in different sectors of the Casablanca Valley, a region known for its marked marine influence and for being the most favorable valley in Chile for the production of white wines.
The Casablanca Valley possesses Mediterranean-style climate with cold and rainy winters. The summers are characterized by the presence of morning fogs that maintain cooler temperatures and add humidity to the dry terrain but disappear around mid-day to give way to a radiant sun that shines on the vineyards all afternoon.
The grapes come from three zones which lend this wine much more complexity. Harvested by hand, the grapes are carefully transported in bins of 200 pounds in order for the grapes to remain intact to preserve the organoleptic quality of the grapes. The yields are kept to around three to five tons of grapes per acre.
The grapes are harvested between the months of March and April when they have reached their optimal maturity levels. They first go through an exhaustive selection process, then a pre- fermentation maceration with the skins, in order to extract the aromas. The maceration lasts from four to twelve hours with controlled low temperatures of 41?F. Afterwards, the must is pressed which allows us to extract and separate two types of juices: the highest-quality free-flow juice and the pressed juice, in order to finally start the fermentation process in tanks of stainless steel. The aging process takes place without separating the lees from the wine. This process lasts between four and six months. Once the wine is bottled, the aging process continues for three months before it is released.
Before becoming a winemaker, Benjamin Mei worked for many years in the agriculture industry. As he travelled the French countryside meeting farmers, his interest in viticulture grew eventually earning a degree in viticulture and oenology at the CFPPA of Ma?on Davay? in Burgundy. After graduating, Benjamin worked all over France including many of the most heralded areas of Burgundy.
This is one of the best Chardonnays from Chile we have tasted. It has a lasting grip and follow through to match with chicken in a tarragon cream sauce.