The Pride of Chile
El famous Colchagua Valley, sub valley of Rapel, is one of Chile’s best-known wine regions, not only for the acclaimed quality of its wines, but also, as an important tourist destination.
Located only 130 km (80 mi), southwest of Santiago, in the O’Higgins Region, Colchagua is a transversal valley that extends from the Andes (east) to the Pacific Ocean (west), along the Tinguiririca River, and offering great diversity of varieties and style of wines.
The vineyards are naturally protected by the Andes Mountain Range to the east and the Coastal Mountain Range to the west, where the Cachapoal and Tinguiririca (Colchagua) Rivers flow. Most vines are planted in the central part of the valley, although there are plantations on the foothills and near the sea.
The main varieties planted in the Colchagua Valley are: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Carmenère, Malbec and Syrah. In less quantity, white wine grapes are also panted: Chardonnay, Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc
Colchagua has received many awards for its wines, especially its red wines that shine in competitions and rankings around the world. Wine Enthusiast magazine granted it the "Wine Region of the Year Award 2005", consecrating it as the best winemaking region of the world of the year.
34° 15' and 34° 50' south latitude and 34° 15' and 34° 50' west longitude
In Colchagua, you can recognize three major soil type formations, that include 170 series with special characteristics: valley floor, piedemont, and mountains. This gives an ample range of possibilites for the production of wines of unique character.
On the valley floor, there two soils types; those of lacustrine origin (characterized by loam-clay texture) such as the ones we have in Laura Hartwig, and those of alluvial sediment (that have loam-silt). Piedemont soils are loam-clay with slopes between 2° and 5° while on the hills, the soil is of granitic origin, derived from the extensions of the Coastal Mountain Range with slopes that vary from 8° to 45°.
One of the main factors that make the Colchagua Valley so well known for its high-quality wines, is its climate.
Colchagua is blessed with a benign Mediterranean climate, characterized by four clearly defined seasons. Low humidity, the maritime influence of the Pacific Ocean with its cold Humoldt Current, and the alternating breeze from the Andes Mountain Range, generate ideal conditions to grow grapevines.
Durante la época de crecimiento y madurez de la vid (octubre – abril) la variación termal fluctuá aproximadamente hasta 22° C (62° F); entre 13° a 35° C (55° a 131° F). Furthermore, the clean, transparent skies allow perfect and optimal solar radiation.
All of this allows the grape to mature slowly, with a long growing season, obtaining grapes with intense colors, aromas and taste and wines of superior quality.
Average T°: Summer: 12.5° – 28° C (55° – 82° F) | Wintero: 4° – 12° C (39° – 54° F).
Average Rainfall: 600 mm during the year, concentred in winter (May- September).
» Our vineyards
Laura Hartwig Estate is located in Santa Cruz, the heart of the Colchagua Valley.
We have 145 hectareas (358 acres) planted with varieties sucha as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Carménère, Malbec, Syrah y Petit Verdot. The first vineyards were first planted in 1978, which included Chardonnay. Since then, we have gradually increased plantation surface.
Bordeaux varietals have adapted naturally to the Colchagua terroir, prospering in the region and offering wines of great varietal character. The valley is known as the home of Carménère, the lost grape variety of Bordeaux and emblematic of Chile, which fares very well in our vineyard.
The soils of our Estate originated under slow lacustrine sedimentation conditions. The soils are flat and deep, with clay loam texture on the surface strata and sandy in deeper strata.
Alejandro Hartwig is the winegrower whoe personally oversees the Estate. According to him, our wines reflect the evolution of the work done in the vineyards throughout the years as through trial and error, he was ablo to improve row orientation, density and irrigation techniques.
A temperate climate, loam clay soils and a long-standing team, has allowed us to develop sustainable and friendly vine management practices. Although not certified, we practice a low impact viticulture.
When we decided to producer our Laura Hartwig wines, we wanted to safeguard the quality of each step in the vinification. That’s why in 1994 we built a winery with 140,000 L capacity. The facility was designed following the classic architecture of the area to stay true to local traditions.
It has a linear flow that enables us to take good care of our grapes throughout the entire winemaking process, and due to the success we’ve had, we increased capacity to 390.000 liters.
We work with stainless steel tanks, clay vesselss and cement eggs that round off our wines very nicely.
Our barrel cellar is natrually teperature and humidity controlled, helping our wines – that age mainly in French oak barrels -, gain the complexity and roundness our clients praise.
» A Winemaking Paradise
Chile is a wine producing country of exceptional quality
There are legends that say, “when God created the world, He left a bit of everything in a special placed called Chile”. Without a doubt, our geography makes this country unique.
Chile, a long and narrow country is defined by its natural borders. In the west, it spans over 4,300 km (2,672 mi) of Pacific Ocean coastline and to the east, the Andes Mountain Range, rising over 5,000 m (16,405 ft.).
It has an average width of only 175 km (109 mi) between the ocean and mountains. In the north, the Atacama Desert, one of the world’s most arid places, gives way to the green, fertile Central Valley. To the south is Patagonia, a region with islands, fjords and millenary glaciers that reach the Antarctic. These are the boundaries that have defended the country from phyloxera, the most lethal of vine plagues. As it was not attacked with the plague in 1877, Chile is the only country in the world that has pre-phyloxera clones planted on its own root stock.
Chile is the number one wine exporter from the New World and fourth overall, surpassed only by France, Spain and Italy. It has an ample diversity of terroirs, from Atacama in the north to Osorno in the south, with approximately 141,000 hectareas (348,420 acres) planted with about 75 different grape varieties (75% red - 25% white).