Vina Falernia, Elqui Valley, Chile

Vina Falernia is quite simply our most exciting – and best value – wine discovery of the year, proof beyond all doubt that Chile is capable of making excellent quality wines at very reasonable prices.

It is Chile’s most northerly winery, based in the young, up and coming, and superb quality potential Elqui Valley about 500km north of Santiago. The climate here is dry and warm – with less than 100mms of rainfall a year and beautifully clear blue skies throughout the growing season. During the night, cool winds from the Pacific Ocean a few kms to the west and the Andes mountains to the east cause dramatic reductions in temperature, giving the grapes amazingly intense flavours and aromas and a refreshing acidity. All grapes are grown organically on their own roots, unlike most other wine regions of the world where they need to be grafted onto American rootstocks.

Matetic, San Antonio Valley, Chile

Matetic is a boutique-style winery producing a range of fantastic wines using organic and biodynamic farming methods in the beautiful San Antonio Valley between Santiago and the Pacific Ocean. With plenty of sunshine tempered by cooling breezes from the Pacific ocean to the west, and irrigated by fresh water from the Andes mountains on the right, this really is the perfect climate in which to grow grapes.

Matetic’s wines have elegance and style, yet wonderful intensity and purity of fruit. Rarely can one small winery deliver such consistently high quality from such a wide range of grapes in one small growing region, which is testament to the skills of their talented winemaker, Paula Cardenas Saez, and the unique climate in this part of Chile.

The UK-based Wine and Spirits Magazine has just awarded Matetic their winery of the year for 2011 due to the sheer consistency of high quality across their range. Both the Wine spectator and Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate regularly award Matetic’s range 90 points or over. Robert Parker summarises thus:-

“The nature of Chile’s wine industry mitigates against small, boutique wineries. One of the few that comes close to qualifying is the biodynamically farmed Matetic winery. It is
a brilliantly run winery whose youthful vineyards will only get better with the passage of time”.