Don Maximiano Errázuriz founded Viña Errázuriz in 1870. With his great vision for the future and his innovative, pioneering spirit, he planted the first French grape varieties in the Aconcagua Valley. His initiative and creativity were handed down to future generations and, in just over a century, his descendants consolidated the winery and positioned their wines among the world’s most noteworthy. Here, we invite you to get to know some of the main landmarks that have shaped the history of this family vineyard, currently one of the best examples of successful winemaking in Chile.
This year, Viña Errázuriz is proud to celebrate its 145th anniversary, carrying on the tradition in the same innovative and visionary spirit that has been its inspiration since the winery was founded in 1870.
Viña Errázuriz launched a world tour to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Berlin Tasting, the renowned blind tastings held in seventeen countries, which positioned Chile among the most important wine regions of the world.
Don Maximiano Founder’s Reserve, the iconic symbol of Viña Errázuriz, was the only Chilean wine –harvests 2010 and 2011– to be chosen as “Best in Show” and “Best Super Premium Red” at two consecutive Annual Wines of Chile Awards, the most relevant competition in the country, organized by Wines of Chile.
Thanks to the pioneering initiative of Viña Errázuriz, the first to plant vines and cultivate the coastal area of the Aconcagua Valley, – a cool climate zone with a strong marine influence and slate soils – the new Chilean appellation ‘Aconcagua Costa’ was born. Chile’s Wine Legislation would recognize it officially in 2012.
Errázuriz Vineyard was one of the first Chilean wineries to be certified as sustainable by Wines of Chile and the Vinnova-Tecnovid consortium. This certification attests to its deep concern for the environment and the community,
a fact that has been its inspiration since the vineyard’s founding in 1870.
With sights set on the future, in honour of the visionary spirit of its founder, Viña Errázuriz inaugurated the Don Maximiano Iconic Winery, dedicated solely to the production of premium wines. With its completely sustainable architecture, the winery is designed to use gravity force for transporting wine and must, and is equipped with a geotermic temperature control system.
Viña Errázuriz was a pioneer in growing the Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Syrah grape varieties in the coastal area of the Aconcagua Valley, located just 12 kilometres from the Pacific Ocean. Until then, viticulture had never been practiced in this cold-climate zone with slate soils.
In search of international recognition, Eduardo Chadwick organized a blind tasting in Berlin, including his most iconic wines – Don Maximiano Founder’s Reserve, Seña, and Viñedo Chadwick – along with exemplary wines from notable Old World wineries. This event, known as the Berlin Tasting, set a landmark in the history of viticulture in Chile, demonstrating the high quality that our wines can attain. It was repeated in more than 15 world capitals. Over the next 15-20 years, Chadwick’s wines were always among the best three. For more information, visit: www.berlintasting.com
After almost a decade developing Syrah in Chile, La Cumbre was born, Viña Errázuriz’s iconic wine of that variety. La Cumbre (the summit) is made with grapes that come from the top of one the hills in the Aconcagua Valley vineyards. Its name also represents the winery’s innovative spirit and the culmination of its efforts to produce the best Syrah in the country.
Eduardo Chadwick, President of Viña Errázuriz, and Robert Mondavi, the well-known wine businessman, signed in 1995 the first international joint venture in the history of Chilean wine. This agreement allowed for the creation of the Seña Vineyard, which focused on developing the first world class Chilean wine and opened doors to the production of other premium wines in the country.
Following the visionary spirit and vocation of its founder, Viña Errázuriz became one of the pioneering wineries in Chile to first cultivate plantations of Syrah. The Aconcagua Valley’s Mediterranean climate permitted this variety to thrive extraordinarily well, with expressions that vary significantly form the mountains to the coastline.
Eduardo Chadwick joined his father Alfonso at Viña Errázuriz. He began to learn about viticulture and the art of making fine wines, and he also studied in Bordeaux. These experiences allowed him to deepen his knowledge, bring state-of-the-art technology to his winery, and furthermore, recognize Chile’s great potential for producing premium wines.
The country opened up to a free market economy, revoking previous laws and initiating a thorough modernization of Chile’s rural areas. The wine sector benefitted greatly from this change, which brought with it a successful era of wine production and exportation.
During these years, a series of political reforms intended to control the consumption of alcohol and to redistribute wealth in Chile. This led Viña Errázuriz into a state of productive decline and meant the onset of stagnation in the development of the winery and the innovations that its proprietors had introduced at the end of the nineteenth century.
Alfonso Chadwick Errázuriz was born, representing the fourth generation of the Errázuriz family in Chile. Wine and Polo were the two great passions in his life, but he also came to be renowned as one of the most important wine businessmen in the country.
On the 16th of August, a large earthquake struck Valparaiso and a great deal of the winery was damaged, including the underground cellars. During the decade following this catastrophe, Rafael Errázuriz’s efforts were focused on the reconstruction of the valuable heritage site, allowing for the addition of new works and the renovation of the bottling room.
Rafael Errázuriz, son of Don Maximiano, took over the administration of the family assets, and under his management, the total area of planted vineyards increased to 700 hectares, making it the largest vineyard in the world in the hands of a single owner.
Viña Errázuriz launched its first wine. By then, the winery had three hundred hectares, irrigation canals, and plant cuttings imported from France. Furthermore, it created a model town named Villa Errázuriz, with a church, a school, and houses for the workers.
Don Maximiano was a visionary businessman, born into a family of Basque origin, who played a key role in the country’s political and economic life. In those years, he built a magnificent wine cellar, conceived as a two-storey structure with an enormous basement, which allowed for storing a total of six million litres.
While most of Chilean vineyards were planted in areas surrounding the capital city, Santiago, Don Maximiano Errázuriz, driven by his visionary spirit, set his sights towards the north, in search of an exceptional terroir. After covering one hundred kilometres in two days on horseback, he discovered a viticultural paradise in the Aconcagua Valley, where he founded Viña Errázuriz in 1870, declaring that “from the best land, the best wine.”