23 Nov Golden Harvest and its coveted nobility
Always at the forefront, the spirit of Viña Morandé is and has been to search for new varieties, valleys and techniques to create unique wines with a certain “twist”. It is in this spirit that Pablo Morandé, founder of the winery, dreaming of making a late harvest wine of the highest quality from the Casablanca Valley, launched Golden Harvest in the year 2000, a “Late Harvest” wine, which combines the way of production of Sauternes and Tokaji. Produced in small quantities only in years when very particular climatic conditions are met, affecting 100% of the Sauvignon Blanc grapes due to cinerea botrytis.
Our Golden Harvest comes from the El Ensueño vineyard located in the Casablanca Valley, Lo Ovalle sector. El Ensueño is in one of the coldest sectors of the Casablanca Valley and with the regular presence of morning mists coming from the coast. This condition during the ripening period of the grapes, and particularly at the beginning of autumn, raises the relative humidity; however, the days are sunny, but the temperatures are low, favoring the development in a unique and exceptional way of Botrytis cinerea, a fungus that produces the coveted “Noble Rot”. This condition, which under high humidity conditions is a problem for the grape as the same fungus develops violently and negatively, is nevertheless the key factor in the production of sweet wines, such as Sauternes in France and Tokaji in Hungary. In the case of Golden Harvest, noble rot has only appeared abundantly in the harvests of the years 2000, 2007, and 2013.
As for its vinification, after choosing the bunches most affected by raising and the development of the fungus, the berries are selected and destemmed grain by grain by hand. They are pressed in vertical hydraulic presses so that two types of juice are obtained, one more fluid or liquid and another that is a kind of honey, concentrated and more viscous. Both are fermented in barrels for almost a year.
To this fermenting must, a proportion equivalent to the 6 Hungarian puttonyos of botrytised grapes is added. This element is crucial to bringing Golden Harvest to life and the reason why it differs fundamentally from a traditional Late Harvest. After the exhaustion of the yeasts, the wine is kept for a second year in its original barrels, until it is bottled.
And it is that following the examples that exist in countries like Hungary, Ukraine, and Slovenia, in Golden Harvest you can find reminiscences of these historical wines, which were the inspiration for our proposal. A wine made completely by hand, of small production, with a complex vinification process, which makes it very special and unique and which has meant a true paradigm shift with respect to its category, being considered by many to be the best sweet wine in Chile.