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Author Sarah Kirton
Sarah Kirton
Updated on Oct 16th, 2023
Fact checked by Emma Vince

Viña Maquis 2023: Wines Between Two Rivers

Viña Maquis has a rich history in wine production dating back to the 18th century when its vineyards were owned by the Jesuit congregation, Compañía de Jesús, in the Colchagua Valley. Notably, it was associated with former Chilean Presidents Federico Errázuriz Zañartu and Federico Errázuriz Echaurrren during the 19th century, who held cabinet meetings in the valley, leaving behind historic brick bridges. In 1916, the Hurtado family acquired the vineyard, and in 1926-1927, Engineer Ignacio Hurtado built the first winemaking and storage cellar. 

This winery, still in operation, marked the beginning of high-end wine production. In 2002, the Hurtado family initiated the construction of a modern, sustainable winery to bring out the best in Colchagua Valley's grape varieties. Viña Maquis continues to prioritize an artisanal and manual approach to winemaking, allowing the grapes to shine with minimal intervention and the expertise of the Viña Maquis team. DeliveryRank digs a little deeper.

Viña Maquis has a rich history dating back to the 18th century and has been associated with prominent figures in Chilean history. How has this rich heritage influenced the winemaking philosophy and approach at Viña Maquis?

Maquis is one of the oldest wineries in the Colchagua Valley with more than 300 years of viticultural history, as the Jesuit order selected this special terroir in the 18th century for producing their wines. Then owned by two Chilean presidents and since 1916 by the Hurtado family that keep pursuing excellence for producing fine wines from this location with own massal selections of ungrafted vines (planted on their own roots) looking to preserve their historical heritage.

The authenticity of Maquis wines is the pure reflection of a unique approach of producing very precise and world-class wines that show the best expression of it´s place of origin, under the guidance of world´s most prestigious technical consultants; Xavier Choné, in the vineyards managements and Eric Boissenot, as a master blender for our final wines.

The Colchagua Valley, where Viña Maquis is located, seems to have a unique climate influenced by the Tinguiririca River and Chimbarongo estuary. Can you tell us more about how these natural factors contribute to the quality and characteristics of the wines produced at Viña Maquis?

The unique terroir of Maquis, located in the heart of the renowned Colchagua Valley, is surrounded by two rivers that mark the style and quality of the wines, as the breezes cool down the temperatures, specially in summer during the harvest season, delivering floral, fresh fruit and fine herbal aromas with a natural balance in mouth. Also, the soils are deep with clay and gravel from the riverbanks, allowing a good storage of water and a slow delivery to the vines with a very good drainage, contributing in having very elegant tannins. 

These conditions are very favorable for the main three red varieties planted in Maquis; Cabernet Franc, Carménère and Cabernet Sauvignon, as they are actually related and have a high content of pyrazines, that are loosed early in the season allowing to harvest the grapes with a great balance, that does not require any type of correction during the winemaking process.

Viña Maquis was among the first vineyards in Chile to obtain the sustainability certification from Wines of Chile. Could you elaborate on the sustainability practices and initiatives that Viña Maquis has implemented, and why is sustainability important to your winery?

Since the early years Maquis has been pioneer in sustainable practices, being among the first wine producers in Chile to obtain its Certification of Wines of Chile. Looking for enhancing biodiversity through biological corridors, Maquis brings life inside the vineyards with more water courses that increases the flora and fauna of the place. Also, the use of native chickens for pest control and sheep for fertilizing the weaker areas and as weed controllers during winter and spring, allows to reduce the sprayings in the vines for having pure and define wines that comes from a natural balance in the vineyards. 

Sustainability is a key factor for the Hurtado family´s decision to develop Maquis winery over the long-term working responsibly with the environment, local community and workers.

The winemaking process at Viña Maquis is described as artisanal and manual. Could you share some insights into this process and how it helps in bringing out the unique qualities of the grapes and wines produced by your vineyard?

The oenological style is based respecting the fruit for making recognizable wines that are true to the place or origin. The work is done in such a way that the hand of the winemaker is hidden and the purity of the fruit takes the primary role in the wine. 

All Maquis wines are produced with own grapes planted in the same place where the winery is located. These are 100% handpicked and selected for receiving them in a gravity flow way and ferment in stainless tanks with delicate pumping overs, avoiding over extracting. Finally, vertical press is used for separating the skins from the final wine to age in French oak barrels to bottle after and enjoy a world-class wine with a wonderful balance and elegance, fine and mature tannins together with a natural acidity that allows a slow evolution in time. 

Viña Maquis has a state-of-the-art and sustainable winery. What are some of the innovative and eco-friendly features of this winery, and how have they improved the production of high-quality wines?

Great part of the pureness and balance of Maquis wines comes from the vineyard managements, as well as the different layers that you can find in them, are given by the enhanced biodiversity that the biological corridors deliver, with a great complexity of aromas and flavors that you can feel it in the final wines.

Looking for supporting the Wines of Chile Sustainability Certification compromise, in 2013 was built a Geothermal heat pump technology that was awarded with an Innovation Prize for energy saving and carbon footprint reduction by the British-Chilean Chamber of Commerce.

Actually, we are the only winery in Chile using this technology until today, that let us not to use any gas at all for the production of our wines and a reduction of 40% less of electric energy, as other benefits such as producing less wastewaters, with the hot water available for washing the tanks, and less time for finishing the wines, as we don´t have to wait spring for doing malolactic fermentation having the opportunity to warm the tanks in winter without any extra use of energy.

If you would like to find out more about Viña Maquis, visit https://www.maquis.cl/

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