Viña Morandé has always been a pioneering winery in Chile and is responsible for many of the advances in the national industry, including perhaps the most important—the “discovery” of the Casablanca Valley as one of the best terroirs for growing cold-climate grape varieties.
The Aventura winery facility is the embodiment of our passion for exploring. It is the culmination of a project that enables us to show the world the pioneering and enterprising spirit that we have always been known for and that inspires us to move forward in developing a portfolio of high-quality wines that are both different and innovative.
Designed by the renowned architect Samuel Claro, this winery blends its architectural beauty with the local landscape. It was built in such a way that it is part of the vineyard, embedded deep in its soil, like the roots that nourish the grapes. The choice of making an underground cellar is due to two factors. The first is our desire to care for the environment by minimizing the intervention in the land as much as possible, and the second is the use of gravity to the benefit of the wines. A gravitational winery cares for the grapes and also allows for significant energy savings. Furthermore, its open spaces, large windows, and glass walls, maximize the use of natural light.
A project of this scale could only be conceived of by a winery with a clear vision of the future, with a solid history of innovation, and a commitment to making wines of the highest quality. A project that is in line with the working methodology of the renowned winemaker Ricardo Baettig, who encourages the enological and viticultural teams to seek out unique wines. This search includes finding new denominations of origin, recovering heritage varieties, making new and surprising blends, and using non-traditional winemaking methods, always with authenticity and striving for excellence.
This space is in line with the working methodology of the renowned winemaker Ricardo Baettig, who encourages the enological and viticultural teams to seek out unique wines. This search includes finding new denominations of origin, recovering heritage varieties, making new and surprising blends, and using non-traditional winemaking methods, always with authenticity and striving for excellence.
The winery has key instruments that enable winemakers to experiment with new varieties, try new vessels for fermentation and aging, and test out new techniques in order to continue delivering unique, authentic wines that are able to advance the national industry.
This winery is a place of exploration with the aim of then applying the new knowledge and findings to the entire portfolio in order to reach the maximum potential in our best wines.
These vessels used for fermentation and aging have a greater surface area for the submerged cap, which enables less contact with the surface, and that, in turn, enables gentler macerations. The tanks are also made of cement, and their thermal inertia benefits the wines by encouraging a greater presence of fruit in the wines. We use these tanks to ferment the Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grapes for our House of Morandé and Edición Limitada Carmenère wines. We use the smallest ones with concave bottoms to ferment the components of our old-vine Cabernet de Ránquil and Pinot Noir Gran Reserva and Limited Edition.
These vessels provide good oxygenation for the wines without adding the sweet aromas and flavors that oak does. The relatively thick cement walls mitigate the temperature differences between the inside and outside of the tank without allowing the heat to concentrate, which helps achieve smooth and continuous fermentations. The combination of the nearly spherical shape and the temperature differences that are generated inside causes the wine to circulate laterally and vertically, keeping the lees slightly suspended. This provides a sensation of greater volume on the palate and an outstanding purity of aromas.
We use these tanks for our most diverse grape varieties, such as our Pinot Noir from Casablanca, Cinsault from Itata, and País from Maule as well as our Petit Verdot, Petite Sirah, and Syrah, and special fermentations of Marsanne and Roussanne with stalks.
These open, conical wooden vats are used to ferment and age the wines. The wine oxygenates slowly in the vats and develops the texture and aromas characteristics of the wood due to the close contact between the two. These wooden vats range in size between 10 and 50 hectoliters.
Open-top wine fermenters are ideal for fermenting small or medium lots of red wine. They work based on the fact that the carbon dioxide produced by the yeast during alcoholic fermentation acts as a protective blanket over the wine and also allow punch downs for a smoother extraction of the compounds from the skins, a more effective polymerization of the tannins, and good fixation of the color in the wine.
We use these to ferment grapes such as Garnacha, Carignan, Cabernet Franc, Mourvedre, part of the Cabernet Sauvignon from Ránquil.
These small spherical ceramic tanks are being used again in the winemaking process. They are made of clay fired at high temperatures, which transforms the structure almost into glass, and therefore they do not pass any characteristics to the wine but those of the grapes. They are used for fermenting grapes and aging wines from our experimental vineyards, such as Chenin Blanc, Vermentino, Semillon with and without stalks, Mourvedre, Tempranillo, Touriga Nacional, and Sangiovese.
Inverted egg-shaped cement tanks are an evolution that we are using for white varieties when we do not need to have a gentle extraction of components from the skins, but rather prefer to work with cloudy musts and fine lees, which is facilitated by the vessel’s shape, partly due to the micro-oxygenation generated in the upper (wider) part. We use these eggs to ferment components with stalks and musts with high turbidity for our Gran Reserva Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, as well as for experiments with Vermentino, Chenin Blanc, and components of Marsanne and Roussanne.
These clay containers are used to ferment, age, and store wine. We use these, as well as troughs in our attempts to recreate as faithfully as possible the ancestral production techniques, in this case linked to Central Asia, and are able to make pure wines with minimal intervention. When buried they maintain the temperature very well and provide reasonable oxidation. We use these amphorae to work the Cinsault for our Creole wine, Pinot Noir for Despechado, Chenin blanc, and Semillón de Ránquil with and without stalks.
A lagar is a large cement container or trough like a small swimming pool used to ferment grapes. It is the oldest and most traditional method of fermentation, which includes stomping the grapes by foot to gently extract the juice. Its shape facilitates manual work with the stalks, greater ventilation, and the release of both CO2 and the temperature produced during fermentation. Due to its ample contact with the air, short macerations are favored, and the focus is on producing fruity wines, ideal for varieties with significant tannic structure to promote finer texture. We use this method the País from Ránquil and Melozal as well as for the Carignan used for the production of Vigno.
Oxoline is a structure on rollers for stacking barrels to maximize space, but more importantly, it allows the barrels to be easily turned in place, thereby facilitating working with the fine lees during the traditional battonage process. Furthermore, the space between the barrels allows easy access to each independently, regardless of its location in the row for filling, topping, rotating, and cleaning, etc. without the need to remove them or disassemble the stack.
Foudres are large round or oval-shaped barrels maintained in horizontal position. They are usually made of oak, although we also have some made of acacia. Historically, they have been used as a large barrel for fermenting, aging, and storing wines. The benefit to using foudres is that they generate combinations more slowly than a barrel would, given their lower wood:wine ratio, and therefore contribute much fewer aromatic and flavor components from the wood, allowing for more emphasis on the fruit and, therefore, on the origin of the grapes. Micro-oxygenation fixes the color and generates larger tannin molecules that give a smoother, rounder sensation on the palate, and this process is slower in foudres, which enables longer aging without creating over-oaked wines.
Ceramic vessels are made of stoneware ceramic, which is similar in many ways to natural granite. They are impervious to liquids and therefore have minimal evaporation. The intrinsic microporous structure of the ceramic material allows a gaseous exchange with the outside of the container in limited quantities and over and extended period of time, making it very suitable for prolonged aging. In turn, and unlike cement tanks, there are no transfers of any kind from the container to the wine, which makes them very useful for producing fine wines with tremendous aromatic expression and eminently clean and fruity flavors. Mounted in the form of a tripod with wheels that allows them to rotate, they favor passive pump overs and aging with fine lees stirring. We use these ceramic to work the Cinsault for our Creole wine, País for Colinas de Ranquil, Chenin blanc, and Semillón de Ránquil.