06 Ago Romeral Field
Being deeply convinced that, due to its soil and climate, the highest sector of the Maipo Valley is the most adequate for growing Cabernet Sauvignon, we searched there for a property to plant from scratch. We started the project in 2004 after years of researching and studying its soils and geology. It was thus that we came to plant our El Romeral estate, located a few kilometers west of the north-south highway (Ruta 5 Sur), on the bank of the Maipo river, exactly on the second alluvial terrace.
Being surrounded by hills of medium height, El Romeral gave us additional options to complete the plantation with Bordeaux varieties other than Cabernet Sauvignon that require more soil, such as Carmenère. Its great potential derived form a mixture of colluvial soils placed on an underlying alluvial base which is formed at the feet of those hills.
After digging numerous trial pits, of studying the distribution of clays by means of electric conductivity, we took the important and innovative decision of planting its more than 50 hectares in high density (10,100 plants/h.). They were mainly planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Carmenère, but some of its hectares were also planted with Petit Verdot and Merlot (respectively in the more colluvial and clayey vineyard blocks).
Its orientation, the constant presence of a third soil horizon of rounded stones or gravels, its climate –warm but strongly refreshed by the evening breezes that blows along the riverbed–, seemed the promise of an outstanding terroir for producing grapes of great quality. We were able to proof this shortly after and, 16 years later, we are pleased to say that our work, conceived for the long term and oriented to quality, has been compensated – despite its youth– with grapes for both our Estate Reserve or even for our Gran Reserva ranges, thus assuring a bright future while expecting the definitive ripeness of the vineyards.
The decision of planting in high density has been crucial. It has allowed us to “move forward” the quality of relatively young vineyards due to the low grape production per plant and the roots’ natural competitiveness for space in the soil, which thus dig deeper in search of nutrients and focus more on the bunches than on the foliage, as it occurs with relatively young vines when planted in more expansive densities.
Winemaker at Viña Morandé