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Undurraga

Royalty and the First Man to Walk on the Moon and Sweet Voices Singing to the Barrels

Vina Undurraga is one of the most prestigious and oldest operating wineries in Chile.  It was founded by Francisco Undurraga Vicuna who studied agriculture in Chile and then Europe.

He began bringing home European vine cuttings which he placed in a lead capsule in order to protect them from withering.

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Francisco had a keen interest in viticulture and bought some land, but wanted to open a winery along with it.

He founded Vina Undurraga in 1875 and the wineries constant search for quality and its innovative spirit is what has made them stand out as one of the best.

The history

Undurraga brought back Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir from France along with Riesling and Gewurztraminer from Germany with a plan to plant the vines and integrate them with those among the Chilean varietals.

His first piece of land was the historical San Vicente de Talagante which he purchased in 1882 and this is where he and his wife cared for the land and began the Rhine wines.

His plan was to build a winery with cellars and beautiful landscapes and a park that consisted of Date palms and tropical trees which he named Fundo Santa Ana in honour of his wife with whom he had 7 children.

He bought oak wood from the Chilean army and hired a French cooper to build casks for his cellar and began with the construction of the winery.

By 1889 he founded Vina Undurraga and as he was also involved in politics in Chile, where he became the transport minister, elected as deputy and held powerful positions which created royal visitors and important people to the estate of Undurraga at a later stage.

In 1891 the first harvest was carried out and the first bottle of wine was called Bodega de Familia.

In 1903 Undurraga became the first Chilean winery to export to the U.S.A.

They won their first award in 1910 and by 1930 they were exporting to Latin America with Columbia and Mexico as the main exports.

By the early 1940’s the company was already producing 30 000 bottles per year and this is when his son, Pedro joined the management team and became the pioneer of the Chilean exports, which by 1960 produced 400000 boxes per year and exported to 60 countries and it was during this time that they had visits from Royalties and Neil Armstrong the first man to walk on the moon.

The sparkling wines began production in 1975 and the elite visitors continued to experience the winery with many of them in Presidency in countries around the world and in 1997 Nave 20 which consisted of avant- garde tanks were incorporated into the winery making it one of the most high tech wineries in the region and by the 20th century the company continued to grow and was purchased by millionaire Jose Yuraszech in 2006.

The Vineyards and the Winery

Undurraga became more modernised and extra 4600 acres of land were purchased around Chile and developed the “Terroir Hunter” range, which involved seeking out wines that combined best climates, soils and grape varieties.

The new and improved cellars are able to hold more than 27 million litres and the vineyards consist of 1800 hectares spread across the most important and best valleys in Maipo, Maipo – Alto, Colchagua, Leyda and Almahue in Cachapoal.  The Santa Ana vineyards in Maipo valley consist of alluvial, loamy and sandy soils with a sub humid Mediterranean climate.

Undurraga practices environmentally friendly viticulture and avoid interfering with nature as little as possible as well as using drip irrigation for fruit quality and the care of their land.

The viticulturists carefully study the soils, climate and behaviour of the varietals in order to produce characteristic, consistent and authentic wines.

They have two state of the art wine making cellars located in two separate areas; one in Quinta de Tilcoco and the other on the Santa Ana Estate where fermentation, processing, ageing and bottling takes place with many talented wine makers and support from oenologists both Chilean and a Frenchman to consult on their sparkling wines.

The cool underground cellars that were built by Francisco provide an ideal environment for the estates reserve wines.

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The Undurraga Wine Selection

Bodega de Familia Gran Reserva was the first bottle created by Francisco Undurraga as a dedication to his wife who used to sing to the barrels before harvest.  It has become a part of the founder’s collection of wines and consists of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Santa Ana vineyards.

Altazor is the signature wine for Undurraga consisting of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, and Carignan and it has a deep purple hue with aromas of intense fruits, berries and cassis with hints of herbs and a touch of menthol.

Vigno consists of 88% Carignan and 12% Cinsault with aromas of wild berry, red and blue cherry with hints of herbs and an earthy note

Sibaris consists of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon with complex aromas and velvet fruit and oak on the palate

TH, Late Harvest, Aliwen and U are among the collection as well as the Sparkling wine collection with two brands; Titillum with its tradition in bottle fermentation and Undurraga sparkling wine collection which has been recognised by critics and given sparkling wine in Chile a boost.

Visit Vina Undurraga

A tour allows you to experience the history that dates back to the 1800’s with the story of the founder and his beginnings as you hear about the cellars, vineyards and get to enjoy the taste of the wines. You might even get to hear Mrs Undurraga singing to the barrels down in the cellar.

Tours and Events

Read more about the events, winery tour, vineyard tour.

Contact information

Viña Undurraga
Website: http://www.undurraga.cl/home
E-mail: pjerez@gvp.cl
Phone: +(56 2) 2372 2900

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Address

Viña Undurraga
Camino a Melipilla, Km. 34
Talagante, Metropolitana, Chile

Author

Michael Bredahl

Michael Bredahl

Wine Writer

I have been online since it all began, with blogging and creating websites. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one of my passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂

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