When Pablo Morandé founded Viña Morandé in 1996, he did it with a great vision for the future and with the same audacity that drove him, years earlier, to be the first person to plant vines in the Casablanca Valley. Adopting this pioneering view as our own, our winery created soon after a wine range named “Aventuras” (Adventures). Our purpose was to highlight the unknown diversity of Chilean terroirs and to draw attention to the old vines planted in the vineyards of the Secano Interior (Interior Dryland) of the Maule and Itata regions. But we also aimed at using less renowned varieties that have been traditionally grown there. It may be worth remembering that, since the very beginning of Viña Morandé, the old vineyards grown in the Secano have had a special meaning for our winery. On one hand, Maule, and particularly the area of Cauquenes, is the place of birth of our founder. And on the other, our winery has developed an important viticultural work throughout the years in its different terroirs, crafting wines that have been present since the first day in our portfolio.
With the arrival of the new millennium, and always in line with the innovating spirit of our winery, Viña Morandé presented two noteworthy wines that meant a real landmark and a change of paradigms for their respective categories. The first, Golden Harvest, was an outstanding late harvest (in the style of the Tokaj wines) which is only produced when the right conditions for harvesting grapes infected with noble rot (botrytis cinerea) in Casablanca are met. The second wine, Golden Harvest Carignan, was a delicious red made with carignan, a variety which at that time hadn’t even been incorporated in the records of Chile’s Servicio Agrícola y Ganadero (Agriculture and Livestock Service) as a variety suitable for producing fine wines. This remarkable wine revealed not only the amazing potential of those ancient vines to produce high quality in Maule’s Secano Interior. It also anticipated, in at least two decades, the creation of VIGNO, the successful Asociación de Viñadores del Carignan (Association of Carignan Wine Growers) which has brought so much renown and prestige to Chilean wine at an international level and of which our winery is one of the founding members.
Filling Eggs with Cinsalut, House Apr 2014
Ten years ago, Viña Morandé chose Ricardo Baettig as the winemaker who best embodied the pioneering spirit of our winery. With a long winemaking career in Chile and in foreign countries, Baettig received in his hands the challenge to continue successfully leading a team of professionals fully committed to the task of projecting our accomplishments and innovations to the next generations.
One of Baettig’s first goals was to relaunch the “Aventuras” project with the aim to continue bringing to light all those exciting jewels that are still hidden in the vineyards of Maule’s and Itata’s Secano Interior, as well as in other still unexplored Chilean terroirs. Although in its origins this wine range neither reached the commercial success expected by our winery, nor was the public yet prepared to face wines of ‘unknown’ varieties, such as Cinsault, Grenache, País, Portugais Bleu, Romano or Carignan, today it is clear that these are precisely the wines that consumers expect and which speak of our country’s rich and deep winemaking history.
Wooden vats and eggs.
Particularly worthy of mention are the innovations in viticulture and winemaking, both aspects in which our winery has developed a pioneering work in search of creating wines that express the full potential of our different properties located in Casablanca, Maipo and Maule. Among others, in 2004 we incorporated high-density plantations at a scale previously unknown in Chile (more than 10,000 plants/ha.) in our Belén estate in Casablanca. At the winery, on the other hand, we returned to aging our wines in oak foudre (a practice that had long been forgotten by Chilean winemaking), and incorporated the use of cement eggs to carry out fermentations. We additionally created high quality sparkling wines, capable of showing an unaccustomed complexity in this category of Chilean wines. Viña Morandé’s innovative and experimental spirit, transmitted to both our consumers and to those who have been part of our professional teams, saw itself also reflected in a number of attractive oenological creations. They have covered a wide span that goes from wines made using frozen grapes to fortified wines, including a very remarkable distilled in the style of an Italian grappa.
Following this innovative path, Viña Morandé is currently undertaking several projects that fall under the same pioneering spirit of its beginnings, with wines that come from such valleys as Limarí, Colchagua Costa, Itata and Malleco. Among them, the new Ranquil project, which is being developed at present in Itata, is particularly attractive due to our interest in renewing, with a modern approach, the ancient traditions of the Chilean countryside. To this end, we make use of all the experience gained in almost a quarter of a century in the search for creating honest wines, that transmit their origin with the highest possible quality.
Grenache C14 y C15, Maule 2014.
For ths, our winemaker leads and directs in our different terroirs –like a curator who travels the Chilean territory from north to south and from east to west– the search for those unique and genuine components that will allow us to make innovative as well as traditional wines. In line with the pioneering spirit of our winery, Baettig also encourages his team of winemakers and vine-growers to experiment and work together. To accomplish this, he will soon have access to a new winery which we have precisely named Aventuras (Adventures) and that will stand next to the one that already exists in the Cachapoal Valley. These new facilities will be a clear testimony of our passion and our willingness to continue looking into the future. We aim for it to become a workshop or a kind of laboratory for research and creation, for trial and error, not only for the “Aventuras” range. It is also meant to be a source of constituents for our different wine ranges and for enhancing the production of wines of unique and distinctive character. In this sense, we would especially like to highlight the innovative and subtle details already incorporated into the wines of our Gran Reserva range, whose purpose is to show consumers of Chile and the world that our country is much more than a producer of good value wines.
We innovate in the production and marketing of Mediterranean varieties such as Cinsault, Carignan, and Garnacha, among others—even when no one else was interested.
Our pioneering spirit has always led us to go a step beyond, and therefore, today we are innovating with high-density crops to improve the quality of our vineyards, which in turn is reflected in the quality of our wines. We were also among the first to adopt new enological practices such as using concrete ‘eggs’ and going back to using the traditional-but-forgotten large oak foudres for producing our reserve-level wines.
We were also the first winery to produce a late harvest wine in Chile and the first recognized as 100% sustainable.
Ricardo Baettig, as been Morandé’s Enological Director since 2011. He holds a degree in Agronomy and Enology from the University of Chile and a Master’s degree in Viticulture and Enology from the University of Turin in Italy, one of his favorite countries, where he has consulted for various wineries in Tuscany, Piedmont, and Friuli.
Today he is in charge of the Pionero Reserva, Estate Reserve and Gran Reserva lines and our icon, House of Morandé.
Ricardo is married and has three children, and he enjoys spending time with his family and friends. He is an avid reader and music lover and enjoys adventure sports, such as mountain climbing and hiking.
SPARKLING WINEMAKING DIRECTOR
Pablo Morandé, was one of the founding partners of Viña Morandé in 1996. He is an Agricultural Engineer from the University of Chile and comes from a family with 5 generations of enological tradition.
He is currently a member of the Morandé Board of Directors as well as the Enological Director for the sparkling wines and the late harvest wine, Golden Harvest.
Pablo has played a key role in the recent history of Chilean wine. In 2014 Wines of Chile named the ‘Personality of the Year.’
Pablo is married and has four children, three of whom are winemakers like himself, proving that the family certainly has wine flowing through its veins!
Our wines are distributed world wide and available in more than 45 countries.