Masters of Wine delegation visits Santa Rita28 de November de 2019
Santiago, November 2019. Week commencing Monday 18th November saw the visit of the Institute of Masters of Wine delegation to the Viña Santa Rita vineyards and hacienda Casa Real, home to the iconic Casa Real Cabernet Sauvignon.
The main focus of the Viña Santa Rita visit was Cabernet Sauvignon, with Maipo and in particular the Alto Jahuel region considered by leading professionals to be one of the finest regions for Cabernet Sauvignon production in the world. Led by head of viniviticulture Eduardo Alemparte and head winemaker Sebastián Labbé, the group took a tour of the Maipo site and experienced first-hand WiSe – the multimillion-dollar vineyard regeneration scheme in place within the Santa Rita Estates Alto Maipo plot. Alemparte together with Gerardo Leal, head of viticulture, explained the basic concept of WiSe which is effectively a scientific and holistic way of working through a code of best practises, parameters and principles, it is not just about planting grapes, it’s the nurture from vineyard to bottle – the ‘growing of wine’.
The WiSe project (derived from ‘Wine’ and ‘Seed’ ) came about in 2014 after discussions with a number of international oenological consultants on how the Santa Rita Estates (SRE) vines and vineyards were performing. Many of the vines on the Maipo estate were planted in the 1990’s without the benefit of scientific formulas which are now in place. Technological advances have enabled SRE to do site specific surveys taking into account soils, aspect and regional micro-climates. Using this knowledge, SRE commenced their planting programme within specific vineyards with specially chosen varietals, clones and rootstocks. Historically the Santa Rita Alto Maipo area was planted with a wide variety of different grape varieties, today some 72% of the total Alto Jahuel Estate is planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, with a small proportion of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Petit Verdot.
The IMW visitors then attended a seminar ’20 Years (of ageing) is nothing’ – hosted by Michel Friou covering the ageing of wines, where two vintages of each wine were tasted. Here, Casa Real Reserva Especial 2017 and 1995, and Carmen Gold 2017 and 1999 were included. This was followed by a blind tasting of Maipo sub zone Cabernet hosted by Sebastián Labbé and Marcelo Papa, featuring Santa Rita Floresta Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 and the recently launched Carmen Delanz Estate Blend 2018. The evening finished in style with a sumptuous feast on the interior terrace of Casa Real Hotel, with the full range of Santa Rita Floresta wines available for tasting.
Santa Rita Estates announced their continued partnership with the Institute of Masters of Wine having re-joined the IMW’s international supporter community in September 2019.
Terry Pennington, export commercial director, SRE commented, “We are delighted to be continuing our support of the IMW and feel honoured to be aligned to a brand synonymous with excellence within the world of wine. Education is a hugely important part of our philosophy at Santa Rita Estates and we feel privileged to have had the opportunity to share our knowledge, understanding, research and winemaker resources with the IMW guests”.
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