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Chilean Terroir: The wines of Apalta

Vinos, Organico, Primus, Conceptos del vino, Valle de Colchagua

What makes this Chilean zone so special for winemaking? In the following blog we’ll tell you about the valley and the characteristics of its wines.

Chilean wines are recognized around the world, principally because they’re full of particularities that very few other wines have. The geography of the country has maintained Chile very isolated, as explained on the Vine Pair website, which means that the flavors and aromas are unique, while at the same time it protects the vineyards from diseases.

A wine’s characteristics are determined by its origin. In Chile, the large diversity of climates and soils means we can produce a large selection of grape varieties.

As this article on Vivino.com explains, there are many aspects that determine a terroir. The principal components are the climate, soil, geography, and the vegetation in the area.


In the case of Apalta, a small corner in the Colchagua Valley in the O’Higgins Region, the terroir is very particular, as the vines grow on granitic soils. Historically, vines were not planted on this kind of soil.

So, why did winemakers take a risk with Apalta? Principally because here the roots can reach very deeply, so the vines need very little water in order to grow in good conditions.

As we mentioned before, the granitic soil and rocks in decomposition are a big factor in the terroir. Apalta’s soil is colluvial, meaning that it’s comprised of decomposing rocks, and in the lower zones of the valley the soils are clay. This combination means adequate conditions to produce varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Carménère.

Apalta is a zone with lots of light but good ventilation, producing ripe wines with very good structure (body). This means they are quite a bit more potent than other wines. For example, a Carménère from Apalta will have more structure than a Carménère from another valley.

Among the wines produced there is our Primus The Blend. This Apalta blends of all of the varieties and soils found on our property there, including the low zones and the hillsides.

foto apalta
Cabernet Sauvignon is the base of this wine, and lends structure, while the Carménère adds density and smoothness, as well as spice that blends with the Petit Verdot, which delivers a smooth and complex finish. The Cabernet Franc finishes the wine with its elegance and long finish.


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